The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) joined forces in 2013 to carry out a study that quantified the contribution made by IPR-intensive industries to the EU economy. The findings revealed that such industries accounted for 39% of the EU’s economic output and 26% of employment during the period 2008-2010, attesting to the value of IP to the European economy.

In an updated study IPR-intensive industries have once again been found to be integral to GDP, employment and trade. Furthermore, the results indicate that the contribution of these industries to the European economy has grown since the first study. In addition, IPR-intensive industries appear to have coped better with the severe economic crisis than the economy as a whole.

IPR-intensive industries generated 27.8% of all jobs in the EU during the period 2011-2013. On average over this period, 60 million Europeans were employed by IPR-intensive industries. In addition, another 22 million jobs were generated in industries that supply goods and services to the IPR intensive industries. Taking indirect jobs into account, the total number of IPR dependent jobs rises to 82.2 million (38.1%).

Over the same period, IPR-intensive industries generated more than 42% of total economic activity (GDP) in the EU, worth € 5.7 trillion. They also accounted for most of the EU’s trade with the rest of the world and generated a trade surplus, thus helping to keep the EU’s external trade in balance.

IPR-intensive industries pay significantly higher wages than other industries, with a wage premium of 46% over other industries. This is consistent with the fact that the value added per worker is higher in IPR-intensive industries than elsewhere in the economy.

IPR-intensive industries have proved most resilient to the economic crisis. Comparing the results of this study with those of the 2013 study reveals that the relative contribution of these industries to the EU economy slightly increased between the two periods 2008-2010 (2013 study) and 2011-2013 (2016 study).

The detailed analysis of the economic weight of industries engaged in the development of climate change mitigation technologies (CCMTs) shows that they account for 1.2% of employment and 2.1% of economic output in the EU. They generated a substantial trade surplus for the EU and, despite a small drop in employment, were able to increase their GDP contribution between the two periods 2008-2010 and 2011-2013.

Download the study here.