“Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus” identifies 75 industries as “IP Intensive” out of 313 industries overall, and concludes that these IP-intensive industries directly account for 27.1 million jobs in the U.S. (which equals 18.8% of all employment). The industries indirectly support additional jobs in related industries, leading to a total 40 million jobs. Wages in the IP-intensive industries are 42% higher than the average wages in other industries, which reflects the fact that workers in the IP-intensive industries tend to have more years of schooling.
Although the report “does not contain policy recommendations and is not intended to directly advance particular policy issues,” the report notes that “as as a general matter, we note the importance of achieving a balanced system of IP rights that protects inventors and creators from unlawful use of their work while encouraging innovation, competition, and the markets for technology in which IP is transacted. Importantly, using IP rights to support innovation and creativity means recognizing the public domain and limits such as fair use which balance the public’s right to use content legally with IP owners’ interests.”
In a blog announcing the release of the report, Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said:
IP protections aren’t just important for businesses and entrepreneurs–they are important for working families, too. IP-driven jobs are good jobs. Wages for jobs in IP-intensive industries are 42 percent higher on average than wages in other industries. These good-paying jobs help support economic security for America’s middle class, and they will continue to do so in the years to come.
Truly, the work to protect intellectual property is vital to maintaining America’s competitive edge and driving our overall prosperity. That’s why this administration is unleashing new innovations and new industries by advancing a robust framework of intellectual property protections for a global economy. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has already implemented seven provisions of the recently passed America Invents Act, which are enhancing the speed and quality of patent processing, connecting businesses with the tools they need to develop their technologies, and speeding up patent applications. Since President Obama took office, the backlog has been reduced by nearly 15 percent, despite the fact that patent filings in the U.S. grew five percent in FY 2011.