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Joint EUIPO/EPO IP Contribution Report
EUIPO and the European Patent Office (EPO) recently published a joint report, entitled “Intellectual property rights and firm performance in the EU”.

The research examines the role of IPRs by analysing a representative sample of over 127.000 European firms from all 28 EU Member States as of 1 January 2020. According to this analysis, companies which own at least one patent, registered design or trade mark generate on average 20% higher revenues per employee than companies which do not own any of those IPRs. Moreover, these IPR-owning companies were found to be paying 19% higher wages on average than other companies.

The study also includes an econometric analysis which makes it possible to isolate the effect of IPR ownership from other factors (e.g. the size of a firm or the countries and sectors in which it operates). The results confirm the positive link between IPR ownership and economic performance, with revenue per employee 55% higher for IPR owners than for non-owners.

Furthermore, the research shows that this relationship is even more pronounced when it comes to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs that own IPRs have a 68% higher revenue per employee than those without IPR portfolios. For large companies, this revenue premium is 18%. Although, as we know from earlier studies and reports, fewer than 9% of European SMEs currently rely on IPRs, compared to 60% of large companies, it highlights the significant potential among smaller firms of further exploiting IPRs.

To read the press release, please click here.

To read the executive summary, please click here.


ECTA is one of the leading organisations within the European Union that strongly works for the improvement of the IP system by collaborating with relevant Institutions (e.g. European Commission, WIPO, EUIPO, etc.), conducting transparent analysis and sharing high-quality knowledge on a wide variety of IP topics.

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