* Report intended as tool to help U.S. trade officials
* Russia's record at home at odds with international pledges
* Report also examines several countries in TPP talks
* U.S., Britain rated best for copyright protection
By Doug Palmer
WASHINGTON, Dec 11 The four members of so-called
BRIC group of emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India and
China - have one more thing in common: they received the worst
scores for protecting copyrights, patents and other intellectual
property in a new index released on Tuesday by the U.S. Chamber
The index prepared for the group's Global Intellectual
Property Center scored 11 countries on a point scale from zero
to 25, with the United States receiving the highest overall
tally of 23.73 and Britain coming in second at 22.40.
India was last with 6.24 points, reflecting its low scores
in each of the five categories examined by Pugatch Consilium, an
international research and analysis firm that specializes in the
knowledge economy. China was tenth with a score of 9.13, below
Brazil with 9.57 points and Russia with 11.17.
The new index is intended as a tool for U.S. policymakers to
push for tough protections of U.S. copyrights, patents and trade
secrets in free trade agreements and other international talks.
The United States, with some of the strongest copyright,
patent and trademark protections in the world, has a total stock
of intellectual property valued at around $5.8 trillion.
U.S. companies pride themselves on being among the most
innovative in the world and see that competitive edge eroded by
weak intellectual property laws in other countries.
More than 55 million Americans work in industries that
depend heavily on intellectual property rights protection,
making it an important jobs issue as well.
Russia's top score among the four BRIC countries is somewhat
misleading because it reflects four points it received for
membership in international agreements to protect intellectual
But "for most other categories, Russia ranks at or near the
bottom. Overall, Russia's environment is characterized by a
distinct contrast between its level of participation in
international treaties and its de facto implementation of rules
and regulations," the report said.
India received a zero in the section awarding points for
membership in international agreements, while China and Brazil
received slightly higher scores.
New Delhi was also marked down for high rates of software
and music piracy, and licensing policies favoring the country's
generic drug manufacturers that irk U.S. pharmaceutical
companies that hold patents on the medicine.
China received only a half a point, out a possible 5, for
enforcement of its laws against piracy, counterfeiting and other
forms of intellectual property theft.
Beijing also got low marks for its protection of trade
secrets and several other patent concerns.
Brazil was faulted for weak patent and copyright laws and
received only 2.94 points out of 5 for enforcement.
The report also looked at five other countries participating
in the U.S.-led talks on a proposed free trade agreement called
the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), in which Washington is
pushing for strong intellectual property protections.
Australia led those five TPP countries with a score of
21.63, followed by Canada with 14.21 points, Mexico with 12.38,
Chile with 11.67 and Malaysia with 11.25.
Canada's low score among the major developed countries
reflects its weak drug patent protections and poor mechanisms to
enforce intellectual property rights, the report said.