May 20, 2010

Chamber Study Highlights South Carolina’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 South Carolina’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 South Carolina’s economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in South Carolina. In 2005, companies spent more than $2.1 billion on research and development in South Carolina, and innovators in the state received 542 patents in 2007. Additionally, more than 6,200 businesses in South Carolina are involved in the creation and distribution of certain copyrighted works, which is a 15 percent increase from 2007 to 2008. South Carolina also places a high priority on their software industry, which employs more than 1,100 people, with wages totaling more than $69 million annually.

“Indeed, South Carolinians are proven innovators,” said Esper. American architecture came alive with the rise of the first American-born professional architects, and Charleston’s own, Robert Mills. Serving as the official architect of public buildings for the US government, Mills designed many famous structures such as the Washington Monument. “America has a unique story to tell, and South Carolina plays a large role in this story. Innovation and creativity are essential to economic growth and human advancement, and South Carolina’s IP contributions reflect this.”

The South Carolina 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.

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