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The value of owning Intellectual Property rights

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Companies owning intellectual property rights (IPRs) have, in general, 29 percent higher revenue per employee, about six times as many employees and pay wages that are up to 20 percent higher than firms which do not own IPRs.

These are the main findings of a study carried out by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) acting through the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights.The study, which is based on official public financial data from more than 2.3 million European firms, covers companies which own patents, trade marks and designs at both national and EU level.

One of the key findings in the study is that a modest share of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe own patents, trademarks or designs. It also finds that those SMEs which own such rights have almost 32 percent higher revenue per employee – a significantly higher economic performance, showing significant relative benefits associated with the ownership of IPRs. SMEs are companies which employ fewer than 250 people and which have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro.

António Campinos, President of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM)said: “SMEs are the backbone of the EU economy, and our study shows that IP rights are an economic asset for them. With the creation of its free, global, online trade mark and design databases (TMview and DesignView), OHIM has already made IPR searches available for millions of firms and individuals. This study, however, shows that we need to do more to promote the economic advantages of IP among SMEs,who benefit from it the most.Our aim is to help SMEs to fully explore the economic potential of their IPR.”This report, which looks at the contribution of IPRs at a company level, is a follow-up to a first EU-wide analysis of the contribution of IPR intensive industries to economic performance and employment in the European Union. It found that about 40 percent of total economic activity in the EU (some €4.7 trillion annually) is generated by IPR-intensive industries, and approximately 35 percent of all employment in the EU (77 million jobs) stems directly or indirectly from industries that have a higher-than-average use of IP rights.


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