Impact of intellectual property rights intensive industries in the European Union

The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights and the European Patent Office have carried out three EU-wide studies on the contribution of intellectual property rights (IPRs) to the EU economy.

These studies aim to provide evidence to support policymaking and form a basis for raising awareness among Europe’s citizens about the value of intellectual property.

 

 

 

 

Intellectual property rights intensive industries and economic performance in the European Union

The aim of this study is to provide an updated, improved assessment of the combined contribution to the economies of the EU from industries that make intensive use of the different types of intellectual property rights (IPR). The study confirms the economic benefits for Europe of trade marks, designs, patents, copyright, geographical indications (GI) and plant variety rights. It updates the study released in 2013 and shows that these industries that use IPR intensively have coped better during the crisis.

Main findings:

  • 28 % of all jobs in the EU (60 million) can be directly attributed to IPR-intensive industries.
  • 38 % of all employment in the EU (82 million) can be attributed, directly and indirectly, to IPR-intensive industries.
  • IPR-intensive industries pay significantly higher wages than other industries, with a wage premium of 46 %.
  • 42 % of the total economic activity (GDP) in the EU is attributable to IPR-intensive industries, worth EUR 5.7 trillion.
  • IPR-intensive industries account for about 90 % of EU trade with the rest of the world, generating a trade surplus for the EU of EUR 96 billion.
 

How was the industry-level study conducted?

In order to determine which industries are IPR-intensive, the study compared the register databases of the EUIPO, EPO and Community Plant variety Office (CPVO) for patents, trade marks, designs and plant varieties with the ORBIS commercial database at EU level.

The study also uses Eurostat data on employment per industry, in order to calculate the number of designs, patents and trade marks in each industry. Approximately 240 000 companies were analysed using these parameters.

Additionally, it looks at the number of IP rights per 1 000 employees in each industry, in order to allow for the effect of industry size. The industries that had an above-average number of filings per 1 000 employees were considered to be IPR-intensive.

Copyright-intensive industries were determined using another approach, similar to that of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) . Finally, for GI-intensive industries, the study uses regulatory sources and information provided by the European Commission's DG Agriculture and Rural Development.

The methodology used allows EU results to be compared with the results of the US study, which was released in September 2016 by the Economics and Statistics Administration at the US Department of Commerce and the USPTO.

 

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Intellectual property rights and firm performance in Europe: an economic analysis

This study compares the economic performance of companies that own IPRs with those that do not. The IP rights included in this study are patents, trade marks and designs — both European and national rights.

Main findings:

  • Companies that own IPRs tend to have almost 6 times more employees than companies that do not.
  • Their revenue per employee is 29% higher on average.
  • They pay wages that are on average 20% higher than firms that do not.
  • About 40% of large companies own IPRs.
  • Although only 9% of small businesses own IPRs, the firms that do have almost 32% more revenue per employee than firms that do not.
 

How was the study conducted?

The IPRs included in the study are patents, trade marks and designs (and any combination of the three). Copyright and geographical indications, which were part of the first study, were not included here, because of their nature. However, the present study includes both European and national IPRs, which improves the available data greatly, and provides a complete view of each company's IPR portfolio — both European and national rights.

The data on each company's IPR portfolio was matched with information contained in ORBIS, a commercial database. This database provides financial and other information on millions of European companies, collected from the filings and accounting reports made by the companies in the commercial registers of all EU Member States.

 

 
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Intellectual property rights intensive industries: contribution to economic performance and employment in the European Union

This study presents the main IPR-intensive industries and their contribution to economic performance and trade at EU level. It contains a section on the numbers of patents, trade marks and designs that originate from each Member State, as well as focusing on job creation. It also covers copyright and geographical indications (GIs).

 

Main findings:

  • About half of EU industries are IPR intensive.
  • They account directly for 26% of all jobs in the EU – around 56 million direct jobs.
  • With the addition of 20 million indirect jobs, 35% of all EU jobs rely on these industries.
  • These industries generated almost 39% of total economic activity (GDP) in the EU, worth €4.7 trillion.
  • They pay higher remuneration, with a premium of more than 40%.
  • They account for 90% of the EU's trade with the rest of the world
 

 

How was the first study conducted?

In order to determine which industries are IPR-intensive, the study compared the register databases of EUIPO and EPO for patents, trade marks and designs with the commercial database ORBIS at EU level.

The study also uses Eurostat data on employment per industry, in order to calculate the number of designs, patents and trade marks in each industry. Approximately 240 000 companies were analysed using these parameters.

Additionally, it looks at the number of IP rights per 1 000 employees in each industry, in order to allow for the effect of industry size. The industries that had an above-average number of filings per 1 000 employees were considered to be IPR-intensive

Copyright-intensive industries were determined using another approach developed by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Finally, for GI-intensive industries the study uses regulatory sources and information provided for by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development.

 

 
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