Trademarks and brands are crucial to the US economy. As the economy becomes more international and more driven by information technology, software, and computers, trademarks play an even greater role. Software, the internet, and computers – and the many businesses that rely on or exploit them – are likely driving a lot of this growth. Is Uber a driver service? Or an app? Without the software both on phones and on servers running algorithms, the service wouldn’t exist.
Trademarks are key because branding is key. I also believe that a key factor is that patents and copyrights both expire. Trademarks rights can be extended forever.
The US Government recently released a report called Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: 2016 Update was produced by the Economics & Statistics Administration (EAS) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).The report updates a 2012 report.
Here are some key quotes from the report regarding the significance of IP and trademarks:
- This report shows that IP-intensive industries continue to be a major, integral and growing part of the U.S. economy. We find that the 81 industries designated as IP-intensive directly accounted for 27.9 million jobs and indirectly supported an additional 17.6 million jobs in 2014. Together, this represented 29.8 percent of all jobs in the U.S. The total value added by IP-intensive industries amounted to 38.2 percent of U.S. GDP and IP-intensive industries paid 47 percent higher weekly wages compared to other industries.
- Trademark-intensive industries are the largest in number and contribute the most employment with 23.7 million jobs in 2014 (up from 22.6 million in 2010). Copyright-intensive industries supplied 5.6 million jobs (compared to 5.1 million in 2010) followed by patent-intensive industries with 3.9 million jobs (3.8 million in 2010).