Companies that own intellectual property rights typically generate 29% higher revenue per employee, have about six times as many employees, and pay wages that are up to 20% higher.
These are the main findings of a study released recently by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) acting through the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights.
Intellectual property rights and firm performance in Europe: an economic analysis 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.
“The results demonstrate that businesses that own intellectual property rights generate more revenue per employee than those that do not, have more employees and pay higher salaries to their workers and that this relationship is particularly strong for SMEs,” said António Campinos President, OHIM. “This is in our view is a very important message for Europe’s businesses and policymakers, highlighting the virtuous cycle between IP and economic performance.”
One of the key findings in the study is that a modest share of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe own patents, trade marks or designs. It also finds that those SMEs which own such rights have almost 32% higher revenue per employee – a significantly higher economic performance, showing significant relative benefits associated with the ownership of IP rights. SMEs are companies which employ fewer than 250 people and which have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro.
This report, which looks at the contribution of IP rights at a company level, is a follow-up to a first EU-wide analysis of the contribution of IP rights intensive industries to economic performance and employment.
It found that about 40% of total economic activity in the EU (some €4.7 trillion annually) is generated by IPR-intensive industries, and approximately 35% 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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Image source: oami.europa.eu