US Chamber Releases Report To Back Call For More IP Rights Protection

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, aiming to boost the Obama administration’s desire to deploy stronger intellectual property protections, released a report Monday drawing a connection between employment and companies heavily involved with intellectual property rights.

The report examines the economic impacts of innovation and intellectual property protection on the U.S. economy. The primary focus of the report is to demonstrate that competitiveness, growth, and value are driven by innovation. The report comes in response to a request from trade regulators for data showing the impact that weak intellectual property rights enforcement has had on the U.S. economy and firms’ competitiveness.

The chamber has previously called on the Obama administration to deliver, by this summer, a strategy to combat Internet piracy and the exchange of counterfeit goods, among others.

“Policymakers and government officials need to give higher priority to strengthening IP rights and laws internationally, while working to improve enforcement both at home and abroad,” the report said.

The report identified such industries as pharmaceuticals, aerospace, and computers as “IP-intensive” and concluded that these industries outperform “non- IP-intensive” industries in creating jobs, paying higher wages, driving U.S. exports, and sustaining economic growth.

It took a close look at 27 U.S. firms between 2000 and 2007. The report found that IP-intensive industries “created highly-skilled jobs during the entire business cycle and low-skilled jobs during the economic downturns while non-IP- intensive industries lost jobs in all levels.”

Other top findings from the report include confirmation that IP-intensive industries paid their high- and low-skilled employees nearly 60% more than non- IP-intensive industries and that output and sales per employee in IP-intensive industries were more than double that of non-IP-intensive industries.

“The study shatters the myth that IP-based industries only benefit white- collar workers,” said Mark Esper, executive vice president of the chamber’s intellectual property rights center.

Additionally, the IP-intensive industries surveyed accounted for about 60% of total U.S. exports, increasing from $665 billion in 2000 to $910 billion in 2007, according to the chamber’s report.

For these reasons, the Obama administration and Congress must deliver a ” first-ever, government-wide national IP strategy” that will improve IPR protection and enforcement locally and abroad, the chamber said.

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