The economic benefits of intellectual property rights

The European Patents Office (EPO) and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) recently published their second European study on the impact of intellectual property rights (IPR) on the European economy in terms of GDP, employment, salaries and external trade.

This study reveals that over 42% of total EU economic activity (i.e. app. 5.7 billion Euros per annum) are generated by sectors that make intensive use of IPR, and that around 38% of total EU employment (82 million jobs) are in sectors that make above-average use of IPR.

These industries also appear to demonstrate better resistance against the economic crisis: comparison of results of this study (covering the 2011-2013 period) with those of the previous edition published in 2013 (2008-2010 period) demonstrates that the contribution these industries provide to the European economy has enjoyed a slight increase.

This study concerns a wide range of intellectual property rights: patents, trademarks, designs, copyright, geographical indications (GI) and plant variety rights. It also identifies the industries that make more extensive use than others and quantifies their contribution towards European level economic indicators, in particular Gross Domestic Product (GDP), employment, salaries and external trade. Furthermore, it indicates that the sectors making the most extensive use of these IPRs, such as engineering, motor vehicles and life sciences, represent approximately 90% of EU external trade with the rest of the world.

Further information at :

Author : Yizhen Wang, Agoria, Regulations & Standardisation Center of Expertise


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