Australia‘s ranking for protection of copyright, patents and trademarks slipped five places last year according to the 2011 International Property Rights Index.
Issued by the conservative Washington DC-based Americans for Tax Reform Foundation/Property Rights Alliance, the index measures the significance of physical and intellectual property rights for 129 countries.
It is broken into three components, one of which deals with intellectual property rights, copyright piracy and patents. The component is referred in the study as IPR.
In the past year, Australia fell from 11th to 16th place in the IPR ranking of countries internationally. In numerical index terms, the drop was 0.1 out of 10 - from 8.0 to 7.9.
The decrease was “due to slight decreases in protection of intellectual property and copyright piracy”, the study stated, without elaborating.
Australia saw its IPR index figures peak in 2007 when it scored 8.3 out of 10.
According to the report , the top 20 countries in 2011 - along with their scores out of a maximum possible of 10 - were:
- Finland (8.5)
- Sweden (8.5)
- US (8.4)
- Denmark (8.3)
- Luxembourg (8.3)
- Singapore (8.3)
- Switzerland (8.3)
- Japan (8.2)
- Netherlands (8.2)
- Austria (8.1)
- Canada (8.1)
- Germany (8.1)
- UK (8.1)
- Belgium (8.0)
- New Zealand (8.0)
- Australia (7.9)
- France (7.9)
- Ireland (7.9)
- Norway (7.8)
- Hong Kong (7.5)
Indices are partly opinion-based and draw on “expert participants” in each country to rate their nation’s IP protection, scoring it from “weak and not enforced” to “strong and enforced.” Australia’s ratings were influenced by Institute of Public Affairs (IPA).
The study also draws on reports from the International Intellectual Property Alliance’s (IIPA) and contains information on piracy levels for copyright-protected industries, including business software, and records and music.
Data from the IIPA is supplemented with the most updated available statistics from the Business Software Alliance.