While some pundits have questioned the relevance and functionality of copyrights, trademarks and patents in a business community evolving at breakneck speed, the latest analysis from the U.S. Department of Commerce suggests that these intellectual property protections play an instrumental role in the nation's economic prosperity.
According to the latest statistics, "IP-intensive industries" contribute more than 40 million jobs and approximately 35 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. These vital sectors include computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing, newspaper and book publishing, biomedical research and semiconductor production, among others.
"This first of its kind report shows that IP-intensive industries have a direct and significant impact on our nation's economy and the creation of American jobs," Secretary of Commerce John Bryson explained. "When Americans know that their ideas will be protected, they have greater incentive to pursue advances and technologies that help keep us competitive, and our business have the confidence they need to hire more workers."
In terms of domestic impact, hiring in these sectors was noticeably higher than the cross-industry average between 2010 and 2011. Meanwhile, IP-intensive industries produced more than 60 percent of American merchandise exports in 2010.