A first in-depth evaluation of IP-related business in Europe  has provided policymakers with clear evidence of the  substantial economic value of IP. Among headline figures,  the study by the EPO and OHIM has shown that IP-intensive  industries employ 26 per cent of the workforce in the EU, but  generate 39 per cent of GDP. Industry leaders should rightly  expect innovation-friendly European policies in the coming  years.

The report, Intellectual property rights intensive industries:  contribution to economic performance and employment in  Europe, was compiled in cooperation with the European  Commission. It quantifies the contribution of IP-intensive  industries in respect of output, employment, wages and  trade, taking into account each major form of IP right:  trade marks, patents, designs, copyright and geographical  indications (GIs). While highest ranked countries comprise  for example Germany, France and the UK, contributions from  newer EU member states such as Poland are also quantified  for comparison in future reports.

Considering the international perspective, the study shows  that IP-intensive industries can take the credit for 90  per cent of the EU’s exports to the rest of the world, 71  per cent of which are accounted for by patent-intensive  industries. Top exporting IP-intensive industries are heavily  concentrated in manufacturing: for example, motor vehicles,  pharmaceuticals, refined petroleum products, aircraft and  communication equipment.

A similarly high figure was found for imports: 88 per cent are  from IP-intensive industries outside Europe. While an IPrelated trade surplus for Europe exists in relation to design,  copyright and GI-intensive industries, a trade deficit in relation  to global brands and technology remains.

Based on a USPTO study prepared in 2012 using similar  methodology, the findings for Europe were comparable to  those for the US, albeit with a marginally lower contribution to  GDP and employment in the US. In both the US and Europe,  trade mark-intensive industries account for the highest  contributions to GDP and employment.

Last but not least, creative workers will rejoice in the finding  that remuneration in IP-intensive industries in Europe is  overall 40 per cent higher than in other industries. While trade  mark-intensive industries make the greatest contribution to  employment, patent-intensive industries provide the highest  wage premium: 64 per cent. More importantly, however, the  contribution to employment made by creative industries – 77  million jobs, including 20 million created in the period 2008- 2010 analysed in the report – is clear evidence of social  benefit.

Based on the report, the outlook for IP-intensive industries  must surely be bright. As António Campinos, President of  OHIM, has said about IP-related industries in response to the  report, “We now have a clear answer. They do matter. They  matter a lot”.  Current initiatives such the European Unitary  Patent may be just a sign of things to come.