WASHINGTON – The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today released the latest edition of its report highlighting the economic contributions of industries that make greater use of intellectual property (IP) protection, including Patents, Trademarks, and Copyrights, titled “Intellectual Property and the American Economy: Third Edition.”
“Protecting intellectual property is vital to American innovation and entrepreneurship,” said US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This report highlights the key benefits associated with a strong intellectual property system and reinforces the Biden administration’s commitment to growing our innovation economy by ensuring that more Americans have equitable access to goods, high-quality services and jobs that come from American innovation Employees working in IP-intensive industries are more likely to earn higher wages than in low-IP-intensive industries. Intellectual property isn’t just good for American businesses, it’s good for American workers.
The latest report revealed that in 2019, 127 IP-intensive industries in sectors such as manufacturing; wholesale and retail trade; and professional, technical, management and administrative services accounted for $7.8 trillion of US gross domestic product (GDP), or 41% of total GDP. Direct employment in these industries accounted for 47.2 million jobs in 2019, or 33% of total employment in the United States. Indirect employment—jobs created in other industries that depend at least in part on final sales in intellectual property-intensive industries—accounted for an additional 11% of employment in the United States. In total, IP-intensive industries accounted for 44% of employment in the United States.
Additionally, for the first time, the report provides data that offers greater insight into the demographics of workers in IP-intensive industries.
“Patents, trademarks and copyrights are the means of establishing ownership rights in creations, inventions and trademarks that bring tangible economic benefits to their owners,” said Drew Hirshfeld, serving as and the duties of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property. and director of the USPTO. “For the third report in the series, we describe the contributions of intellectual property-intensive industries, while presenting insightful new data on demographics. A strong intellectual property system benefits all innovative communities across America, from rural towns to bustling cities.
The report found a substantial wage premium for workers in IP-intensive industries, with average weekly earnings 60% higher than workers in other industries. States in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Upper Midwest, and West Coast regions generally had the highest concentrations of workers in IP-intensive industries.
Compared to workers in low-IP industries, workers in high-IP industries were more likely to:
- Earn higher salaries
- Work in large companies (500 or more employees)
- Participate in employer-sponsored health insurance plans
- Participate in employer pension plans
- Have a bachelor’s or graduate degree
In terms of overall workforce composition, the report found that women and minorities, with the exception of those of Asian descent, were underrepresented in IP-intensive industries. Women accounted for 43.7% of the workforce in IP-intensive industries, compared to 54% in low-IP industries. The report further shows that blacks and Hispanics made up 8.9% and 13% of the workforce, respectively, in IP-intensive industries, compared to 13.9% and 19.5% in industries low intellectual property intensity.
The report observes that employment in IP-intensive industries tends to follow the upswings and downturns in the general economy. Notably, in 2019, IP-intensive industries appeared to have fully recovered from the job losses they suffered after the early 2000s dot-com meltdown and the 2007-2009 recession.
This latest update is the latest in a series of reports focusing on the economic contributions of IP-intensive industries. The USPTO published earlier reports in 2012 and 2016.
To see the full report online.
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