30 September 2013
The European Commission today welcomed the publication of the first-ever EU-wide study of the impact of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on the European economy in terms of GDP, employment, wages and trade.
Carried out jointly
by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) acting through
the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights and the
European Patent Office (EPO), the study finds that about 40% of total economic
activity in the EU (some €4.7 trillion annually) is generated by IPR-intensive
industries, and approximately 35% of all employment in the EU (77 million jobs)
stems from such industries that have a higher than average use of IP rights.
The report also finds that average remuneration in IPR-intensive industries is
more than 40% higher than in other industries.
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. It will help us to further underpin our evidence-based policy making. What this study shows us is that the use of intellectual property rights in the economy is ubiquitous: from high-tech industries to manufacturers of sports goods, games, toys and computer games, all are making intensive use of not just one, but often several types of IP rights."
Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office (EPO) said: "This report shows that the benefits of patent 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."
António Campinos, President of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) said: "This study is the result of a detailed collaboration between experts drawn from different agencies and countries, using a transparent and replicable methodology. It tackles the fundamental question of the extent to which IPR-related industries matter to jobs, GDP and trade in the EU. We now have a clear answer. They do matter, they matter a lot."
The study, "Intellectual Property Rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in Europe", takes into account all the major IP rights: patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights and geographical indications. It focuses on the EU economy and covers a total of 321 IPR-intensive industries, identified as such either because they register more Intellectual Property Rights per employee than other industries, or because the use of IPR is an intrinsic characteristic of the industry's activity. These industries were selected at EU-level, i.e. using EU-wide measures of IPR intensity.
According to the report, about half of all EU industries are IP-intensive, with engineering, real estate, financial and insurance activities, manufacture of motor vehicles, retail, computers and pharmaceuticals among the top 20 IPR intensive industries in Europe. Another finding is that IP-intensive industries account for approximately 90% of the EU's trade with the rest of the world.
A list of all IPR-intensive industries is included in the Appendix to the report.
This research follows on the heels of a similar study carried out in 2012 by the US Patent and Trademark Office together with the Economics and Statistics Administration, which resulted in comparable findings for the US economy. The share of employment and GDP in IPR-intensive industries is somewhat higher in Europe than in the US.