Recent report finds companies owning Intellectual Property Rights outperform their competitors

20 July 2015

We have welcomed a recent report which finds that companies owning Intellectual Property Rights outshine their competitors in economic performance.

The study was conducted by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) acting through the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights. It is a follow-up to the first EU-wide analysis of the contribution of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) to economic performance and employment in the European Union in 2013. Both studies were based on official public financial data from more than 2.3 million EU firms and covered companies which own patents, trade marks and designs at both a national and European level.

One of the key findings in the latest study is that a modest share – just 9% – of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe own patents, trade marks or designs. However, those SMEs which do own such rights have almost 32% higher revenue per employee – a significantly higher economic performance, suggesting substantial benefits are associated with the ownership of IPR.

The report also highlights that companies that own IPR tend to have about six times as many employees and pay higher salaries by up to 20%.

This survey highlights the positive relationship between IPR and economic performance. Whilst it shouldn’t be interpreted as establishing a direct causal link between the ownership of IPR and higher revenue per employee, there is certainly a strong indication that the long term economic benefits of owning patents, trade marks and designs significantly outweigh the costs to secure and maintain these rights.

You can read more about the two studies conducted by OHIM here:

The original 2013 report produced this excellent infographic, showcasing the importance of IPR to the European economy:


Michael Conway

Michael Conway

Associate Partner

Our Expert
Michael Conway
Michael Conway
Location: Bristol (UK)

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