January 29, 2010

Chamber Study Highlights Idaho’s Innovative Contributions

U.S. Chamber Releases Study on Importance of Intellectual Property in All 50 States


WASHINGTON, DC—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today released a report highlighting Idaho’s contributions to America’s innovation economy. This study is part of GIPC’s State Fact Sheets, which provide a look at the roles innovation and creativity play in each state. The report highlights local companies and facts demonstrating how innovation and creativity—which are safeguarded by strong IP rights—serve as a driving force behind economic recovery and future growth.

“Innovation and creativity are vital to Idaho’s economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. Idaho innovators received 1,388 patents in 2007 and in 2008, Idaho’s involvement in the creation and distribution of copyrighted works increased to more than 3,100, a 14.2 percent increase.

Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in Idaho. Home to 1,335 highly specialized firms, Idaho employs 36,400 high-tech workers in sectors such as semiconductor manufacturing, computer and electronic products, software publishing, and engineering services. Idaho also has highest strong hi- tech concentration nationwide, with wages 107% higher than average private sector wages.

“Indeed, Idahoans are proven innovators,” said Esper. Gregory Carr founded the first technology company to sell voicemail to telephone companies, and also co-founded Boston Technology in 1986. Additionally, inventor and sculpture, Gutzon Borglum created the monumental presidents’ heads at Mount Rushmore. Borglum also sculpted the head of Abraham Lincoln now located in the Capital Rotunda in Washington DC. “America has a unique story to tell, and Idaho plays a large role in this story. Innovation and creativity are essential to economic growth and human advancement, and Idaho’s IP contributions reflect this.”

The Idaho State Fact Sheet is intended to be a resource for legislators, policymakers, and the public to identify successful companies, inventors, creative artists, and innovators to better understand the role they play in our economy and society. As part of an easy-to-use, interactive map, the State Fact Sheet project can be accessed online at www.theglobalipcenter.com, as well as in a printable format.

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber is the world’s largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region.

For more information, please contact Trinh Nguyen at 202-463-5379.

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