In 2012, the US Commerce Department released a report which found that intellectual property-intensive industries contributed more than 34.8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. In 2013 the European Patent Office partnered in a study regarding the overall contribution made by intellectual property intensive industries to the EU economy and found similar results.
In addition to it’s GDP contribution, principal findings of the US study included that IP-intensive industries accounted for over 60% of U.S. merchandise exports and 18.8% of all employment. Average wages in these industries averaged 42% higher than in other private industries.
The European study found that one in three of all EU jobs rely on IP-intensive industries, which generate almost 39% of total economic activity (GDP) in the EU. IP-intensive industries paid on average 40% higher remuneration. These industries also accounted for 90% of the EU’s trade with the rest of the world.
The studies considered IP-intensive industries as ‚either those that register more Intellectual Property Rights per employee than other industries, or those where the use of IP (Rights) is an intrinsic characteristic of the industry’s activity‘. Examples of such industries would be power-tool and computer manufacturing, pharmaceutical and medicinal products, newspaper and book publishing, even cheese making (geographical indications).
Based on these studies and other factors, one may make some important conclusions about the role of innovative industries in the global economy. These studies support the conclusions that such industries play an important economic role, contribute substantially to foreign trade, and are an important source of employment.