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Intellectual property fosters 82 million jobs in the EU

11 October 2022

Intellectual property rights intensive industries and economic performance in the European Union 2022

The latest edition of a report published today by the EPO and the
European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) shows
that industries, making intensive use of intellectual property rights (IPRs) generated
29.7% of all jobs in the EU in 2017-19. This means that sectors using patents,
trade marks or designs, among other IPRs, directly employed more than 61
million people in the EU. In addition, another 20 million jobs were generated
in industries that supply goods and services to IPR-intensive businesses,
adding up to a total number of 82 million IPR dependent jobs (39.4%).

According
to the study, which is
updated regularly to assess the impact of intellectual property on the European
economy, IPR-intensive
industries generated EUR 6.4 trillion in 2017-19, or more than 47% of the EU’s
GDP. These industries also accounted for most of the EU’s trade with the rest
of the world and generated a trade surplus of EUR224 billion.

IPR-intensive
sectors are also boosting intra-EU trade, an indicator analysed for the first
time in this edition of the report. In fact, the study reveals that activities
in these sectors accounted for more than 75% of intra-EU trade and are a major driver of cross-border job creation,
with almost 7 million
IPR-intensive jobs in the EU member states created by companies based in other
EU member states. The study also reveals
that 80.5% of EU imports and 80.1% of EU exports are generated by IPR-intensive
industries.

The study also shows that activities making
an intensive use of patents, trade marks or designs, among others, pay
significantly higher wages than other industries (41% more). According to the
findings, the value added per worker is higher in IPR-intensive industries than
elsewhere in the economy. The average weekly wage in IPR-intensive industries
is EUR 840, compared with EUR 597 in non IPR-intensive industries. This
“wage premium” is 34% in design-intensive industries, 40% in trade
mark-intensive industries, 49% in copyright-intensive industries and 65% in
patent-intensive industries. 

Economic impact of IPR-intensive industries

N.B. The small dip observed between the first and second edition of the study was likely a consequence of the Great Recession (second edition focused on the post-crisis period). However, this drop is small and a continuous increase of the contribution of IPR-intensive industries can be observed in subsequent editions. 

Europe’s sustainability drive 

The study also finds
that IPR-intensive industries active in the development of climate change mitigation
technologies (CCMTs) and “green” trade marks are a boon to Europe’s economy. Their
economic impact has also increased in recent years, accounting for 9.3% of
employment and 14.0% of GDP in the EU in 2017-19. Overall,
every tenth European patent application filed by an EU company or inventor in
2019 was related to CCMTs aimed at reducing or preventing the emission of
greenhouse gases. Green trade marks filed by EU-based companies account for a
similar share of all EU trade mark applications in 2021. 

The President of the European Patent Office,
António Campinos, said: “Innovation,
backed by an efficient system of intellectual property rights, is key to
securing Europe’s growth and long-term competitiveness. The latest edition of
this report shows that IPR-intensive sectors are more important than ever for
the European economy. So it is good news for companies and
inventors that the environment for innovation in Europe will soon receive a
boost with the launch of the new Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court.”

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