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US Report Highlights Role of IP in Creating Jobs, Economic Growth

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

13 April 2012


The Commerce Department has released a comprehensive report, prepared by its Economics and Statistics Administration and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and entitled “Intellectual Property and the US Economy: Industries in Focus”, which focuses on the impact of intellectual property (IP) on the American economy and job creation.

The report finds that IP-intensive industries supported at least 40m jobs, or 18.8% of all US employment, and contributed more than USD5 trillion dollars to, or 34.8% of, US gross domestic product in 2010.

“This first of its kind report shows that IP-intensive industries have a direct and significant impact on our nation’s economy and the creation of American jobs,” said Commerce Secretary John Bryson. “When Americans know that their ideas will be protected, they have greater incentive to pursue advances and technologies that help keep us competitive, and our businesses have the confidence they need to hire more workers.”

While IP is used in virtually every segment of the U.S. economy, the report identifies the 75 industries that use patent, copyright, or trademark protections most extensively. These “IP-intensive industries” are the source – directly or indirectly – of the 40m jobs, that represent more than a quarter of all the jobs in the US.

A substantial share of IP-intensive employment in the US was in the 60 trademark-intensive industries, with 22.6m jobs in 2010. The 26 patent-intensive industries accounted for 3.9m million jobs in 2010, while the 13 copyright-intensive industries provided 5.1m jobs.

Some of the most IP-intensive industries include: computer and peripheral equipment, audio and video equipment manufacturing, newspaper and book publishers, pharmaceuticals and medicine, semiconductor and other electronic components, and the medical equipment.

The report’s other findings include that, between 2010 and 2011, the economic recovery led to a 1.6% increase in direct employment in IP-intensive industries, faster than the 1.0% growth in non-IP-intensive industries, while merchandise exports of IP-intensive industries totaled USD775bn in 2010, accounting for 60.7% of total US merchandise exports.

Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank added that “the report released today shows that wages for jobs in IP-intensive industries are higher than average and continue to increase, meaning that these jobs aren’t just important for businesses and entrepreneurs – they are important for working families.”

“Every job in some way, produces, supplies, consumes, or relies on innovation, creativity, and commercial distinctiveness,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director David Kappos. “America needs to continue investing in a high quality and appropriately balanced IP system that will promote innovative, open, and competitive markets while helping to ensure that the US private sector remains America’s innovation engine.”

At the same time as unveiling the report, the Department of Commerce and USPTO confirmed that they are doing their part to stimulate new innovations and new industries by advancing a robust framework of IP protection.

The USPTO has already implemented eight provisions of the recently passed America Invents Act, which, it said, “are enhancing the speed and quality of patent processing, connecting businesses with the tools they need to develop their technologies, and speeding up patent applications.”

Speaking at an event hosted by the White House to introduce the report, the US Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue pledged to continue to work with all stakeholders to champion IP protection at home and abroad.

“If we’re going to continue to be the most innovative economy, we must ensure that American IP-intensive industries remain confident that their copyrights, patents, and trademarks will be enforced,” said Donohue. “The Commerce Department’s new study demonstrates that 40m jobs also hinge on the proper and adequate enforcement of IP rights, which are frequently threatened by criminal organizations overseas. It’s a challenge we must tackle together.”

TAGS: business | trademarks | patents | law | intellectual property | copyright | enforcement | manufacturing | United States | trade

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