EU 15 Feb 2021
The stronger your IPR portfolio, the better your business performs is the conclusion of a new study. Companies which own at least one patent, registered design or trademark generate on average 20% higher revenues per employee than companies that do not. The firm performance increases almost twice as much depending on type and combination of IPRs. This is demonstrated in the recently released study “Intellectual Property Rights and Firm Performance in the EU” by the EUIPO and the EPO jointly.
The study confirms the strong, positive relationship between a company’s ownership of different types of IPRs and its economic performance.
Considering sector, company size and country, the analysis confirms that the revenue is 55% higher per employee for IPR-owners than for non-owners. The revenue is even higher for SMEs, 68%. For large companies, this revenue is 18 %. Given that the study also identified that less than 9% of SMEs in Europe own any of the three types of IPR, compared with almost six out of 10 large companies, it highlights the significant potential among smaller firms of further exploiting IPRs.
Not only do the IPR-owning businesses generate more revenue, but their employees earn more, too; they were found to be paying 19% higher wages on average than other companies.
Revenues of IPRs
In terms of individual IPRs, patent ownership, with 36% higher revenue per employee and 53% higher wages, shows the strongest link with a company’s performance when compared with businesses that do not own any IPRs. Followed by the ownership of registered designs (at 32% higher revenue and 30% higher wages) and trademarks (21% higher revenue and 17% higher wages).
Moreover, SMEs that combine different IPRs enjoy even higher revenue per employee. Those small businesses that own both patents and trademarks generate 75% more earnings, while those that have registered designs and trademarks have an estimated revenue of 84%. SMEs that own a combination of patents, trademarks and registered designs generate almost double (98%) the revenue per employee compared with companies that do not own any of the three IP rights.
Overall, the report further demonstrates that IPR-owning firms are more strongly represented in the sectors of information and communication (with 18% of companies in that sector owning IPRs), manufacturing (14%), scientific and technical activities (13%) and wholesale & retail and motorcycles (9%).
About the report
The report is part of a series of economic studies demonstrating the contribution of intellectual property rights (IPRs) to the EU economy, on the level of industries as well as individual companies. The report is based on a statistical analysis of a sample of more than 127 000 companies from all 27 Member States of the EU and the United Kingdom, covering the period 2007-2019. It is a follow-up of a similar report published by EUIPO in 2015, which used data for only 12 Member States. It covers patents, registered designs and trademarks, and any combination of the three. It also covers both European and national IPRs.