World IP Day: Protecting Innovation to Protect the U.S. Economy

World IP Day: Protecting Innovation to Protect the U.S. Economy

04.25.13 | By

Today is the World Intellectual Property Organization’s World Intellectual Property Day, and it couldn’t be more relevant. As the world leader in innovation, the United States needs to continue to support intellectual property (IP) policies that promote innovation in the biopharmaceutical industry, in addition to other IP-intensive sectors, or it could adversely affect investments in research and development and stall the next medical breakthrough.

Patients aren’t the only ones that could be affected. IP-intensive industries directly employ approximately 19 million Americans, with the biopharmaceutical sector alone directly employing more than 650,000. When you include indirect jobs, the number catapults to 55 million. If U.S. companies don’t have an incentive to make the heavy investments needed to develop products, growth potential becomes limited, resulting in fewer jobs. These are the high-paying jobs our economy needs, too. Jobs in the intellectual property sector of the health care industry pay up to 30 percent more than other private sector industries. 

The biopharmaceutical sector accounts for the single largest share of all U.S. business R&D, representing nearly 20 percent of all domestic R&D funded by U.S. businesses, according to data from the National Science Foundation. If we don’t take steps to protect it, we not only lose jobs, but the U.S. also becomes less competitive globally.

To recognize World IP Day, take a second and think about where we would be without innovation. The biopharmaceutical sector works to provide patients with innovative treatments to live productive, healthy lives, and if we do note take the appropriate steps now to protect IP, progress could be slowed.


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