Industries with greater use of intellectual property rights (IPR) account for almost half of EU GDP (45%) according to a new study from the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).
This includes all industries with above average use of patents, trademarks, industrial designs and copyright.
In the UK, the share of GDP generated by these companies (42.6%) is slightly below the EU average of 44.8%, but the country is above average with regards to copyrights and nearly on a par with the average when it comes to trade marks.
The report revealed that the UK was first among EU countries for the contribution of its copyright-intensive industries to the economy.
These industries generated over £177 billion (8.4%) of the UK’s GDP (compared to EU average of 6.9%), and accounted for 2 million jobs (6.8%) in the UK (compared to EU average of 5.5%).
With 12.9% (EUR 314 billion) and 11.6% (EUR 283 billion) respectively, the contribution of UK design-intensive and patent-intensive industries to the country’s GDP is also significant, although both are below the EU average (16.2% and 16.1% respectively).
Design-intensive industries in the UK account for 3.2 million jobs, the 4th highest figure among EU countries after Germany, Italy and France.
Commenting on the findings, the executive director of the EUIPO, Christian Archambeau, said: “Industries that use intellectual property rights intensively play a crucial role in making the EU more prosperous and in securing their economic future.
“These industries are more resilient in the face of economic crisis and more innovative. Our challenge is to ensure that all firms and entrepreneurs can secure their IP rights, particularly SMEs.”
The president of the European Patent Office, António Campinos, added: “The importance of IPR-intensive industries reflects the strength of the knowledge-based economy in Europe.
“Businesses in these sectors often file bundles of intellectual property rights in combination to protect their intellectual assets.
“This strategy creates products and services with high added value, and in doing so helps secure Europe’s long-term competitiveness.”