Last year the National Science Foundation published an issue brief by John Jankowski on the importance that American firms in different industries place on intellectual property. It presents survey data showing which industries rely on which types of IP: trade secrets, trademarks, utility patents, design patents, copyrights, or mask works. Firms were asked to rank these types of IP protection as “very important,” “somewhat important” or “not important.” Jankowski shows how different types of intellectual property are far more important to some industries than others. Trademarks, trade secrets and copyright were valued most by the companies in the survey, yet 84%, 85%, and 88% of all firms surveyed said these were “not important” to them.
The results are more interesting when they are broken down by industry and compared to last year’s USPTO report Intellectual Property in the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus.