Economic Effects of Intellectual Property-Intensive Manufacturing in the United States

The creation and adoption of new ideas - in a word, innovation - is a very powerful factor that helps to determine progress of modern economies. Economists trace 30 percent to 40 percent of all U.S. gains in productivity and growth over the course of the 20th century to economic innovation in its various forms. Today, some two-thirds of the value of America's large businesses can be traced to the intangible assets that embody ideas, especially the intellectual property (IP) of patents and trademarks. Promoting and protecting new intellectual property should be a high priority for U.S. policymakers.

  • IP-intensive industries produce 72 percent more value added per employee than non-IP-intensive industries
  • IP-intensive industries create jobs at a rate 140 percent higher than non-IP-intensive industries, excluding computers/electronics.

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