February 15, 2021

The Value of IP - EUIPO/EPO Report

What is the value of intellectual property to companies?

What are the effects of intellectual property rights ownership on economic performance?

These and other questions are addressed in the February 2021 report 'Intellectual property rights and firm performance in the European Union'.

This report is a joint study on the contribution of intellectual property rights (IPRs) to the EU economy by The European Patent Office (EPO) and European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) which provides an interesting overview and compares the economic performance of EU companies that own intellectual property rights with those that do not.

The study which is described as a firm level analysis report covers the period from 2007-2019 and the analysis is based on a representative sample of over 127 000 European firms from all 27 EU member states and the UK.  The study considered the patents, trade marks and designs of each company’s IP portfolio and includes both European and national intellectual property rights.

This study builds on the High-growth firms and intellectual property rights (EPO/EUIPO, 2019) EPO and EUIPO joint study that examined the link between the IPR activity of SMEs and their subsequent growth  in which one of the main findings was that SMEs that had filed at least one patent, trade mark or registered design were more likely to experience growth in turnover and employment in subsequent years than SMEs that were not active in the IPR space.


About 60% of large companies own IP rights.

About 9% of European SMEs own IP rights, and the companies that do were found to have 68% higher revenues per employee than SMEs without IP rights portfolios.

It is reported that firms that own IP rights generate 20% higher revenues per employee than firms without an IP portfolio.  Firms that own IP rights pay on average 19% higher wages than firms that do not.

The most IPR-intensive sectors were identified as follows:

  • Information and communication, with 18% of firms in that sector owning IPR
  • Manufacturing, with 14% of firms owning IPR
  • Other service activities with 14% of firms owning IPR
  • Professional services firms (“professional, scientific and technical activities”), with 13% of firms owning IP
  • Administrative and support service activities, 11% of firms owning IP

The EUIPO website also provides links to a number of previous studies on the contribution of intellectual property to the EU economy. 

The study highlights the value of IP to all companies whether large and small.

So if you would like to learn more on how to protect innovations for your business and generate valuable IP assets, please contact one of our Hanna Moore + Curley attorney team to discuss IP & IP strategy.

Hanna Moore + Curley


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