Kuala Lumpur, 8 August 2018 – The Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) & Property Rights Alliance, in cooperation with 113 think tanks across the world, is proud to release on August 8th, the 2018 International Property Rights Index in partnership with the Free Market Foundation in South Africa. The Index measures the strength of physical property rights, intellectual property rights, and the legal and political environments that contain them.
The IPRI Global Launch will be broadcasted on August 8th @ 8.30 am (SAST time) on Facebook Live (from Johannesburg) https://www.face
Worldwide, six billion people suffer from inadequate protection of their property rights. Only 758 million people, 13 percent of the world, enjoy adequate protections for their artistic works, inventions, and private property. Three countries, Finland, New Zealand, and Switzerland (a quarter of one percent of the world) have achieved the highest property rights protections—according to the 2018 International Property Rights Index
Alarmingly, for the first time the United States fell from being 1st in the world for intellectual property protections to 2nd, yielding to Finland, which also passed New Zealand to become 1st in the Index overall (8.69). The Index is also the first publication to utilize the recently updated Patent Rights Index developed by Professor Walter Park at American University.
Property rights are a key indicator of economic success and political stability. Renowned economist Hernando De Soto said, “weak property rights systems not only blind economies from realizing the immense hidden capital of their entrepreneurs, but they withhold them from other benefits as evidenced through the powerful correlations in this year’s Index: human freedom, economic liberty, perception of corruption, civic activism, and even the ability to be connected to the internet, to name a few.”
Property rights are an essential component of prosperous and free societies. This year the report includes correlations with no less than 23 economic and social indicators, including 9 specific to e-commerce which displayed some of the strongest relationships the Index has ever discovered – suggesting rights play an important role in addressing internet access issues.
Property Rights are restricted by gender. Poor property rights protections are bad enough; however, the Gender Equality component of the Index reveals that several countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa regions continue to limit property ownership based solely on gender.
On the release, Malaysia’s IPRI score has dropped by 0.11 points to 6.491. This resulted in Malaysia dropping from 27th to 34th place globally. Of the 3 components of the index (Legal and Political; Physical property rights; and Intellectual property rights), only the Physical Property component recorded a small increase in scores (an increase of 0.062 to 7.656). Malaysia’s score on the Intellectual Property component dropped by 0.32 points to 6.105, while the score for Legal and Political component experienced a small reduction of 0.09 to 5.713.
Commenting on the result of the Index, IDEAS CEO, Ali Salman said that the result is worrying especially on the IP rights component. He urged for the government to take steps to improve the situation. This includes ensuring legislation maximises the scope for new IP and removing any unnecessary constraints. The government should also improve IP enforcement agency capacity to reduce backlogs and increase efficiency of process for recognising legitimate intellectual property, he added.
Contact: Ali Salman, firstname.lastname@example.org
The full report can be downloaded at www.internationalpropertyrightsindex.org
Digital Piracy in Malaysia by Muhammad Adli Amirullah, IDEAS can be downloaded here