Alicante
25 October 2016
Reporter: Barney Dixon

IP a high earner in the EU, finds top agencies


Over 42 percent of total economic activity in the EU is generated by intellectual property rights-intensive industries, according to a study from the European Patent Office (EPO) and the EU IP Office (EUIPO).

The study, published on 25 October, says this number equates to almost €5.7 trillion annually. It covers a broad range of IP rights, including patents, trademarks, designs, copyright, geographical indications and plant variety rights.

Further, the study says that IP-intensive industries account for almost 90 percent of the EU’s global trade and 38 percent of all employment in the EU comes from industries with above-average use of IP rights.

These 82 million IP rights-intensive jobs also have a 46 percent higher average wage than other industries.

Almost half of all EU industries are IP rights-intensive and focus mainly on engineering, real estate, and financial and insurance activities, along with the manufacture of motor vehicles, computers and pharmaceuticals.

“Our second joint report confirms the benefits of patents and other IP rights for the European economy,” said Benoît Battistelli, president of the EPO.

“Intangible assets are increasingly important for innovative companies today, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but also for research centres and universities.”

He added: “We again see that this has a positive impact on jobs, growth and prosperity. But 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, executive director of the EUIPO, said: “The rapidly changing nature of business in the 21st century means that the EU and global economy relies strongly on intellectual property rights such as trademarks, designs, patents and other rights.”

“The current report shows this reliance is continuing to grow and that these rights are often used inter-dependently. This poses the challenge of ensuring that IP rights are more accessible to all businesses, including SMEs, and are protected effectively against infringements, in order to help the EU to retain its innovative strengths and further leverage jobs and growth.”

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