September 2, 2009

Chamber Study Highlights Vermont’s Innovative Contributions

WASHINGTON, DC-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today released a report highlighting Vermont’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 is vital to Vermont’s economy, and is a driving force behind the export of more than $7 billion in manufactured goods to the world,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. Esper said that in 2007 and 2008, Vermont innovators received 1,060 patents and 501 trademarks from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. “The Vermont economy depends on the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurism,” added Esper.

Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in Vermont. Film and television production contributed to $27 million in local wages, and in 2008, the number of businesses that were involved with copyrighted works grew to almost 2,000 – an increase of over 6 percent from the previous year. Vermont is home to Jake Burton, inventor of the snowboard, and Burlington’s Burton Corporation, one of the largest snowboard manufacturers in the world. The Orvis Company is also in Vermont. Named after Charles Orvis of Manchester who created the fly fishing reel, Orvis is a leading supplier of clothing and sportsman products.

“Indeed, Vermonters are proven innovators,” said Esper. “America’s first patent was granted to Vermont’s Samuel Hopkins in 1790 for an ingredient used to make soap, and Thomas Davenport, a Vermont Blacksmith, invented the first electric motor. America has a unique story to tell, and Vermont plays a large role in this story. Innovation and creativity are essential to economic growth and human advancement, and Vermont’s IP contributions reflect this.”

The Vermont 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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