March 5, 2010

Chamber Study Highlights Michigan’s Innovative Contributions

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


WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today released a report highlighting Michigan’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 Michigan’s economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. In 2007, Michigan innovators received 3,141 patents, ranking the state 6th in the nation. Additionally, more than 18,400 businesses in Michigan are involved in the creation and distribution of certain copyrighted works—an 8.3 percent increase since 2007.

Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in Michigan. Michigan places a high priority on research and development. In 2005, the state invested $809 million in R&D, which has led to 300 invention disclosures and 90 license agreements. Additionally, the Michigan economy supports 176,000 high-tech workers as well as 19,250 doctoral scientists and engineers.

“Indeed, Michiganians are proven innovators,” said Esper. In 1901, Lansing-native Ransom E. Olds built and patented the first automobile assembly line, which has helped further the American automobile. Additionally, William L. Potts of the Detroit Police Department developed the first four-way traffic signal in 1920. “America has a unique story to tell, and Michigan plays a large role in this story. Innovation and creativity are essential to economic growth and human advancement, and Michigan’s IP contributions reflect this.”

The Michigan 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, 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.

Subscribe for updates from GIPC