July 7, 2010

Chamber Study Highlights West Virginia’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 West Virginia’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 West Virginia’s economy,” said Dr. Mark Esper, executive vice president of the Chamber’s GIPC. Esper noted examples of innovation and creativity in West Virginia. In 2007, West Virginia received 116 patents. Each year, the state earns roughly $261 million dollars of federal research and development fund. Furthermore, more than 1,800 businesses in West Virginia were involved in the creation and distribution of certain copyrighted works in 2008, which is an increase of 11.7% since 2007.

“Indeed, West Virginians are proven innovators,” said Esper. West Virginia is home to many entertainers in both film and music industries, such as movie star Jennifer Garner. John Forbes Nash, Jr., created multiple theories in market economics, accounting, and military theory; his story was portrayed in the movie, A Beautiful Mind.  “America has a unique story to tell, and West Virginia plays a large role in this story. Innovation and creativity are essential to economic growth and human advancement, and West Virginia’s IP contributions reflect this.”

The West Virginia 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.

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