Global IP comparisons

Michael Geist's blog today points to a study by Taylor Wessing which compares various national IP laws around the world. No doubt, Canada's laws are judged by the report to be very strong which supports Geist's conclusion that "claims that Canada's international reputation has been harmed by our intellectual property laws are the stuff of fiction."

This is a great study to demonstrate that our laws are strong enough. What is missing, and what I'd love to see next, is a study that compares the fairness various laws.

Fairness is of course a very subjective criteria for a study, but perhaps it could be judged with respect to human rights and common law traditions.

For example this study states "The USA is seen as a good jurisdiction for enforcing IP:- costs are not awarded against you which decreases the risk, and triple damages are available. Germany is ranked second behind the USA for IP enforcement, partially because it has specialist judges, it is relatively speedy, relatively cheap, and also seems more likely to grant interim injunctions."

Top marks for strength, minus several hundred for fairness. Being able to bring forward lawsuits without fear of consequences if they are frivolous; awards which are out of proportion to actual damages; and easy access to interim injunctions, all work against free speech and our common law traditions. Such attributes might be desireable in a strong IP regime, but would be less so in a "fair" one.

What country has the fairest IP laws? I'd really like to know.