Michel BARNIER_Intellectual property: an engine for growth in Europe


Good morning ladies and gentlemen.  And thank you to Richard Mollet and to Susie Winter for organising this event and inviting me here today.  My thanks also to Arlene McCarthy, with whom I have worked closely on many issues.  Arlene is one of the strongest voices in Europe on the single market in general, and so is Malcolm Harbour, Chairman of the Internal Market Committee.  1- THE IMPORTANCE OF IP FOR THE ECONOMY  Let me start by saying that it is my firm belief that intellectual property is the backbone of a competitive European economy.  Thanks to IP, we create jobs and bring innovative products and services to consumers and companies.  Let me give you just some of the results of a study on IP-intensive industries published two weeks ago by the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the European Patent Office (EPO).  The study showed that nearly 40% of all economic activity in the EU is generated by IPR-intensive industries.

That is around 4.7 trillion euros each year.  More than a third of all jobs in Europe (77 million) depend either directly or indirectly  on sectors that make intensive use of IP.  These are quality jobs. People employed in these jobs earn over 40% more than in other industries.  What this study shows is that IP rights:  – whether they be copyright, patents, trademarks, or designs – are the bedrock of our economy,  all around us, in so many of the products and services that we take for granted.  They create jobs and growth in Europe, and people tend to forget that.  In a changing world, we have to make sure our IP infrastructure is fit for the 21st century.  Let me start with copyright. Here to read more.

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