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New report says third of European jobs in sectors that rely on IP rights

By | Published on Tuesday 1 October 2013


A new report from the European Union’s Patent Office and Office For Harmonization In The Internal Market reckons that over a third of jobs in the EU come from sectors that rely on intellectual property rights (IPRs to use the report’s shorthand).

The report surveys the importance of patents, trademarks, designs and copyright to the European economy, focusing in on what it calls ‘IPR-intensive industries’ which have a higher than average use of IP rights. Aside for the more obvious copyright industries like the music business, the document includes the engineering, financial and insurance, retail, motor vehicle, pharmaceutical and IT sectors in this group.

Indeed, about half of the EU’s industries are IPR-intensive according to the report, and they generate about 40% of the union’s total economic activity (some 4.7 trillion euros annually) and account for 35% of all employment (77 million jobs). Needless to say, the report’s conclusion is that the development and protection of IP rights remains an important issue for political decision makers to tackle. Which I think we already knew.

Responding to the report, Internal Market And Services Commissioner Michel Barnier told CMU: “I am convinced that intellectual property rights play a hugely important role in stimulating innovation and creativity, and I welcome the publication of this study. It will help us to further underpin our evidence-based policy making. What this study shows us is that the use of intellectual property rights in the economy is ubiquitous: from high-tech industries to manufacturers of sports goods, games, toys and computer games, all are making intensive use of not just one, but often several types of IP rights”.