Transfer Pricing Associates

New study shows: IP intensive industries create jobs

post Wednesday November 6, 2013

Tags: employment, epo, eu, gdp, intellectual property, ip, job, ohim, study

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A new study by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), an institution of the European Union, presents a very positive impact of industries heavily reliant on intellectual property on job generation. According to the Alicante-based office, around 35% of jobs within the EU depend on IP-intensive sectors.


A strong contribution to the job market

The study is aptly called “Intellectual property rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in the European Union”. According to the study, just over one quarter of the jobs in the European Union are sourced from direct employment in IP-intensive industries, while an additional 9% are indirectly dependent on those industries. Nearly 26% of the jobs created between 2008 and 2010 were the craft of these industries’ employment needs, averaging 56.5 million Europeans over the period. Adding to this, 20 million more jobs were generated in suppliers of goods and services which depended on firms in the IP-intensive sectors.

In terms of specific IPR, trademark-intensive industries contribute 20.8% of employment, design-intensive industries create 12.2% and patent-intensive industries generate 10.3% of jobs (overlap possible).

In addition to their contribution to employment, the industries of IP also represent 39% of the GDP in the EU, totaling an amount of €4.7 trillion.

This is the first real evidence of the contribution of these industries to job generation in the EU. This is an important mark for firms in the IP reliant industries as it allows some welcome proof of their economic impact as opposed to the daily struggle of IP protection.


The importance of innovation

The OHIM, responsible for registering the trademarks and designs of the internal market of the EU, expressed in the study its belief on the importance of innovation for continuous subsistence and development of the EU. As quoted in the document, “it has never been so important to foster the “virtuous circle” leading from Research and Development (R&D) investment to jobs ”, a process depending on different factors, among which “an efficient system of intellectual property rights (IPR) undoubtedly ranks among the most important, given IP’s capacity to encourage creativity and innovation (…)”.

The position taken by the OHIM is clearly one of focusing on a “balanced” IPR system, defending the equilibrium between market competition and compensation of R&D and trademark investment.

Despite the controversies and intricacies around intellectual property, the argument for defending patents, trademarks and copyrights is developing its irrefutability. With mounting evidence of the benefits of intellectual property rights for innovation development appears, the position for shorter-length IPR and liberalized patent access must overcome its more defensible counter-argument. Balance is, nonetheless, the key: where to is the balance point prone to shift?

Sources: EPO, ScienceBusiness

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