January 18, 2019

IP 101


Happy New Year from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center!  A new year means new beginnings and a new opportunity to recognize the critical role intellectual property (IP) plays in the American economy and across the world. To kick off 2019, we’re highlighting the benefits of strong IP protections and enforcement—because this year just might be the biggest year for IP yet.

IP by the Numbers

IP is a major driver of U.S. economic growth and competitiveness and supports good-paying jobs.

  • IP-intensive industries support over 45 million American jobs and hundreds of millions of jobs worldwide. You can also find a state-by-state breakdown here.
  • The average worker in an IP-related field earns about 46 percent more than his counterpart in a non-IP industry.
  • IP accounts for over one-third of America’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 52 percent of domestic merchandise exports – nearly $842 billion.
  • America’s total IP is valued at approximately $6.6 trillion, more than the nominal GDP of any other country in the world.

IP Protects Businesses, Consumers

Robust and enforced IP rights protect business assets and ensure consumer safety.

  • Strong IP rights help consumers make educated choices about the safety, reliability, and effectiveness of their purchases.
  • Enforced IP rights ensure products are authentic, and of the high-quality that consumers recognize and expect.
  • IP rights foster the confidence and ease of mind that consumers demand and markets rely on.

IP Generates Breakthrough Solutions

Life-saving medicines, treatment options, sustainability measures, and pharmaceutical breakthroughs are all made possible because of strong IP rights.

  • The research-intensive pharmaceutical industry relies on patent products to create the critical medications that save and changes lives
  • Agricultural companies are embracing IP to find innovative ways to address food sustainability and produce more high-quality food for all populations.
  • IP-driven discoveries in alternative energy and green technologies help improve energy security and address climate change.
  • IP rights protect creations, motivating entrepreneurs to keep pushing for new advancements.

Our economy is fueled by creators, researchers, and entrepreneurs, and IP is the force that incentivizes innovation and risk-taking. It also provides product assurance, reliability, and safety

As we enter a new year, there is a great opportunity to continue the momentum from last year. Trade deals will be negotiated, international research will intensify, and innovations will create life-changing products worldwide. While all of these things are happening around us, we must reiterate the importance of IP, especially with our state and federal lawmakers, and never take it for granted.

Simply put, we must bolster IP provisions in 2019 to boost risk-takers to create the next revolution. If we don’t, we may risk robbing ourselves of unique and innovative creations while stifling economies across the globe.

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