Intellectual Property: The Engine of U.S. Economic Growth

Today, Victoria Espinel, the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, together with John Bryson, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and David Kappos, the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, released Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus. This report is notable for what it shows about the role IP plays in driving U.S. jobs and economic growth. A few facts stand out in particular:

· IP-intensive industries directly employ 27.1 million Americans, and indirectly contribute to another 12.9 million jobs. All told, 27.7 percent of all U.S. jobs are attributable to IP-intensive industries.

· IP-intensive industries account for $5.06 trillion in value added, representing 34.8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010.

· Respondents in the computer industry indicated that patents were an effective means for securing competitive advantage from innovations over 40 percent of the time, a higher rate than in most other industries.

This study demonstrates that intellectual property is an enabler of innovation, resulting in the creation of businesses and jobs. And jobs in IP-intensive industries are high paying, with average weekly wages 42 percent higher than in other industries.

Of course, none of this would be possible without a strong and effective IP system in the U.S. Policymakers across the political spectrum have long recognized the importance of IP in driving jobs and economic growth, and today’s report provides strong confirmation of their approach.