Worldwide 30 Nov 2017

Intellectual capital accounts for one third of the value of sold products

One third of the value from manufactured products sold comes from intangible capital, such as branding, design and technology. The trend points to that the importance of intangible capital will increase further in the future. This according to a new study by WIPO. 

The study looks at the global value chains that companies use to manufacture products. The purpose is to look at how labour, tangible capital and intangible capital contributes to income from manufactured and sold products. The study raises the question of what the consumer actually is paying for when buying a product.

The result shows that intangible capital, such as branding, design and technology, contributes twice as much to the total value of products, compared to tangible capital such as buildings, machinery, etc. Within three product groups, food products, motor vehicles and textiles, intangible capital constitute almost half of the value of the manufactured products. The result also shows that the income from intangible capital increased by 75 percent from 2000 to 2014.

The study finds that “investments in intangible capital are a key source of economic growth, and better understanding how those assets are generated and exploited in a globalized marketplace may help policymakers refine the enabling environment for such investments.”

You can access the 138-page report and a number of case studies on the WIPO website. 

The study is conducted by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations. WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation.


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