The US Commerce Department, in conjunction with the US Patent and Trademarks Office, recently issued a report that looked at the economic contributions of intellectual property to the US economy. It’s no joke. It is estimated that intellectual property-intensive industries contribute more than $5 trillion and 40 million jobs to the US economy, which represents more than a quarter of the work force.
Confirming that the function of intellectual property is to reward ingenuity, the Commerce Secretary stated that:
“When Americans know that their ideas will be protected, they have greater incentive to pursue advances and technologies that help keep us competitive, and our businesses have the confidence they need to hire more workers.”
Simply put, innovation creates opportunity and the government should encourage it.
Intellectual property protection enhances a business’ success at every stage:
- creates incentives to create
- rewards ingenuity
- protects against copying
- qualifies intangible assets
- creates a platform for corporate valuation and investment
- creates additional revenue streams by way of licensing
In a highly creative and competitive industry such as the fashion industry, intellectual property protection should be a front and center business tool. Not surprisingly, the fashion industry was included in the top 50 trade-mark intensive industries. Interestingly, the trade-mark intensive industries accounted for the highest employment rates, surpassing patent intensive industries.