14 October 2013
A study on Intellectual property rights has found that about 39% of total economic activity in the EU, worth some €4.7 trillion annually, is generated by IPR-intensive industries.
In addition, approximately 26% of all employment in the EU (56 million jobs) is provided directly by these industries, while a further 9% of jobs in the EU stems indirectly from IPR-intensive industries.
Carried out jointly by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the study ‘Intellectual Property Rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in Europe’ (September 2013), measures the importance of Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the EU economy.
The study focuses on the EU economy and considers IPR-intensive industries as either those that register more intellectual property rights per employee than other industries, or those where the use of IPR is an intrinsic characteristic of the industry’s activity. These industries are selected at EU-level, i.e. using EU-wide measures of IPR intensity.
The study also finds that average remuneration in IPR-intensive industries is more than 40% higher than in other industries. Examples of IPR-intensive industries include: the manufacture of power-driven hand tools (patents); the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products (trademarks); the manufacture of watches and clocks (designs); book publishing (copyright); and operation of dairies and cheese making (geographical indications).
Hundreds of industries, as diverse as services activities related to financial services and insurance, advertising agencies, ice cream manufacture, wallpaper manufacture, wine production, electric lighting and domestic appliances, satellite telecommunications, and extraction of oil and gas are also all IPR-intensive, and many make simultaneous use of more than one IP right.
Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said: ‘I am convinced that intellectual property rights play a hugely important role in stimulating innovation and creativity, and I welcome the publication of this study which confirms that the promotion of IPR is a matter of growth and jobs. It will help us to further underpin our evidence-based policy making.’
Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office (EPO) said: ‘This report shows that the benefit of patents and other IPRs is not just economic theory. For innovative companies intangible assets have become extremely important. Especially for SMEs, but also research centres and universities, patents often open the door to capital and business partners. In order to remain competitive in the global economy, Europe needs to encourage even further the development and use of new technology and innovations.’