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Study: Valuable economic contributions of IP-intensive industries

We often discuss on this blog the various ways that creators and business owners benefit from protecting their intellectual property. Trademarks, patents and copyrights can have a tangible impact on an entity’s market standing and financial resources.

And a recent report from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows that IP-intensive industries also have a positive impact on the U.S. gross domestic product and employment rates.

What the numbers say

According to the USPTO, industries that are heavy users of and advocates for IP protections contributed a great deal to the economy in 2019. These industries include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Retail and wholesale trade
  • Technical services
  • Management services
  • Professional services
  • Administrative services

The reports found that these industries accounted for:

  • $7.8 trillion in the gross domestic product (or 41 percent)
  • 47.2 million jobs
  • 44 percent of all direct and indirect employment opportunities

Workers in these industries also reportedly collected 60% more in average weekly earnings than individuals in other sectors.

However, not all the numbers were positive. The report also found that IP-heavy industries employ fewer women and minorities (except those of Asian descent) than other industries.

What does this mean?

This report has some valuable takeaways for business owners here in Minnesota. First, the Upper Midwest is a region the report identified as having a high concentration of IP-intensive employment opportunities. Minnesota specifically had a higher percentage of design patent-intensive and trademark-intensive workers compared to the national average.

There is a great deal of value in establishing ownership rights to their creations. And not just for IP owners in these industries – higher values can also benefit employees and communities.

Reports like this one illustrate the widespread (and sometimes unexpected) impact IP can have on a business, reinforcing the message that protecting IP and developing a comprehensive IP strategy can be essential.


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