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  • Gottfried Schüll

“IPR-intensive industries are drivers of growth, competition, and employment in the EU”

Joint study by EPO and EUIPO confirms positive economic effects of IP rights

Düsseldorf, January 19, 2023 – Industries that make extensive use of IP rights created almost 30 percent of all jobs in the EU between 2017 and 2019. These were the findings of a joint study by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published in October 2022. According to the study, more than 61 million people in the EU were employed in IPR-intensive industries, with an additional 20 million jobs in supplier companies. This brings the total number of jobs dependent on intellectual property rights to 82 million (39.4%). Another positive effect found by the study is that IPR-intensive industries pay higher wages and salaries, with a wage premium of 41 percent over other industries.

The picture is also positive when it comes to economic activity: IPR-intensive sectors generated 6.4 trillion euros in the period studied – more than 47 percent of the EU’s total economic activity. These sectors accounted for most of the EU’s trade with the rest of the world. The resulting trade surplus: 224 billion euros. Trade within the EU also benefited from IPR-intensive industries: according to the study, activities in these sectors made up more than 75 percent of this trade.

The study found that the contribution made by companies working on climate protection technologies who make use of property rights is particularly noteworthy: these accounted for 9.3 percent of employment and 14 percent of the EU’s GDP. One in ten European patents filed by an EU-based company or inventor in 2019 covered technologies to reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions. Green trademarks made up a similar proportion of EU trademark applications in 2021.

“The protection of intellectual property has a wide variety of positive effects throughout Europe, as the study by the EPO and EUIPO shows us in a very well-founded way,” says Gottfried Schüll, patent attorney and partner at Cohausz & Florack. “Yet again we can see that innovative industries that rely on IP rights are an important driver of growth, vibrant competition, and employment in the EU.”

The study “IPR-intensive industries and economic performance in the European Union” published by the EPO and EUIPO can be found under this link.

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