Monday, September 30, 2013

To do good, we must first understand and be understood well. I have a conviction that the Intellectual Property is extremely important. More than a third of jobs in Europe (76 million!) depend, either directly or indirectly, on industries that use intensively the intellectual property rights. And these jobs are quality jobs, the pay is 40% higher than other jobs.

Michel Barnier
Said : Michel Barnier, Member of the EC in charge of Internal Market and Services, in his opening remarks at the release function of the first study on EU's "Intellectual property rights intensive industries" in Brussels, according to a press release from European Commission on September 30, 2013.

"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, toys and computer games, all are making intensive use of not just one, but often several types of intellectual property rights,” Michel Barnier added.

The findings of the study are brought out as "Intellectual property rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in the European Union Industry-Level Analysis Report, September 2013" under a joint project between the European Patent Office and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market - the two highest level institutions that are most important for the protection of intellectual property Europe. The report is available here.

The report is aimed at providing the first broad, credible assessment of the combined contribution of industries that make intensive use of the various types of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to the economies of the EU as a whole and of the individual Member States. The analysis was conducted in autumn 2012 and spring 2013. It only includes the 27 pre‑July 2013 Member States. Thus, Croatia, which became the EU’s 28th Member State on 1 July 2013, was not included.

The study covers a broad range of IP rights – trade marks, patents, designs, copyright and Geographical Indications (GIs) – and considers a variety of economic indicators, in particular Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment, external trade and wages. 

Some of the key findings of the report are :

  • IPR-intensive industries contribute 26% of employment and 39% of GDP in the EU.
  • IPR‑intensive industries also pay significantly higher wages than other industries, with a wage premium of more than 40%. This is consistent with the fact that the value added per worker is higher in IPR‑intensive industries than elsewhere in the economy. The average weekly wage in IPR‑intensive industries is € 715, compared with € 507 in non‑IPR‑intensive industries – a difference of 41%. This “wage premium” is 31% in design‑intensive industries, 42% in trade mark‑intensive industries, 46% in GI‑intensive industries, 64% in patent‑intensive industries and 69% in copyright‑intensive industries.
  • In absolute terms, Germany ranks first for patents, trade marks and designs. The other top spots are occupied by the UK, France, Spain and Italy. There is some variation among the Member States; for example, while Spain is in the top 5 for trade marks and designs, it is only in 11th place for patents. The group of the largest economies is followed by a group of smaller northern European countries, including the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark and Sweden. The highest placed among the 12 countries that joined the EU in 2004 or 2007 is Poland, which is also the largest of these countries.

In the course of the preparation of this report, useful input was received from the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO), the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) – whose earlier report on US IPR‑intensive industries was the first study of this type.

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