EUIPO and EPO release a study about IPR-intensive industries and economic performance in the EU

October 18, 2022

Jobs, growth, competitiveness


Intellectual property

IPR-intensive industries are the backbone of the EU single market as they generate three quarters of intra-EU trade and are a major driver of cross-border job creation.

In response to the need to provide policymakers and the public with accurate information, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the European Patent Office (EPO) joined forces in 2013 to carry out a study that quantified the economic contribution of IPR-intensive industries to the EU economy. Following previous editions published in 2016 and 2019, this study has now been updated for the third time, demonstrating that in the intervening period IPR-intensive industries have become even more integral to GDP, employment and trade in Europe.

This new report shows that the shares of IPR-intensive industries in EU employment and GDP are even higher than in the 2019 study, and confirms the increasing centrality of intellectual assets in modern economies.

Among the key findings of the report:

  • There are now 357 IPR-intensive industries in the EU economy, compared with the 353 identified in the previous (2019) study. Of these industries, 229 (64%) are intensive in respect of more than one IPR;

  • IPR-intensive industries generated 29.7% of all jobs in the EU during the 2017–2019 period, up from 28.9% in 2014–2016 (adjusting for small differences in methodology between the studies). On average over this period, they employed more than 61 million people in the EU and generated another 20 million jobs in industries that supply goods and services to IPR-intensive industries. Taking indirect jobs into account, the total number of IPR-related jobs rises to 82 million (39.4%);

  • Over the same period, IPR-intensive industries generated more than 47% of total economic activity (GDP) in the EU, worth €6.4 trillion. They also accounted for most of the EU‘s trade with the rest of the world and generated a trade surplus of €224 billion, thus helping to keep the EU‘s external trade broadly balanced.