In a joint effort, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) have prepared and recently published the first EU-wide study on the overall contribution made by intellectual property intensive industries to the EU economy, in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment, wages and trade. The report is quite hefty, but the key findings are summarized by the two Offices as follows:
- About 50% of EU industries are IPR intensive
- IPR*-intensive industries account directly for 26% of all jobs in the EU – around 56 million direct jobs. With the addition of 20 million indirect jobs, one in three of all EU jobs rely on IPR intensive industries.
- These industries generated almost 39% of total economic activity (GDP) in the EU, worth €4.7 trillion
- IPR-intensive industries pay higher remuneration than non-IPR intensive industries, with a wage premium of more than 40%. The average weekly remuneration in IPR-intensive industries is €715, compared with €507 in non-IPR intensive industries
- IPR-intensive industries account for 90% of the EU’s trade with the rest of the world.
The above figures are literally cited from the OHIM’s webpage. The full report materials can be accessed on the OHIM’s website at: http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/OBS/IPContributionReport.en.do
For a good overview, we recommend reading the Executive Summary of the report, available in English here: http://oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/resource/documents/observatory/IPR/summary/executive%20summary-en.pdf
All readers may draw their own conclusions, and statistics should always be addressed with some scepticism. Nevertheless, it seems fair to say that Intellectual Property Rights apparently have a significant positive impact on the wellbeing of EU citizens.
* IPR – short for Intellectual Property Rights