Users of the various IP systems and regimes range from the largest national and multinational corporations and research institutes, through to small to medium enterprises (SMEs), innovative start-up companies and entrepreneurs. Xenith believes IP is an increasingly important driver of innovation, and an increasingly significant source of commercial value and competitive advantage for a broad spectrum of organisations and individuals, locally and internationally.
In order to protect their investment in research and development, many innovators will seek to take advantage of the monopoly rights conferred by registration of the resultant IP, including particularly by way of patents, trade marks and registered designs. IP protection enables companies to capture and more effectively exploit the benefits of often substantial investment in product or brand development. In the absence of IP registration in relevant markets, competitors may quickly erode the economic benefit of unprotected innovation or brand development through copying. For these reasons, Xenith believes the systematic development and protection of IP is often a crucial factor in the growth and development of innovators and the economies in which they operate.
A recent European study in relation to the relative economic importance of IP-intensive industries showed that approximately 39% of total economic activity in the European Union (amounting to approximately €4.7 trillion annually) is generated by IP-intensive industries and approximately 26% of all employment in the EU (around 56 million jobs) is provided directly by these industries, with a further 9% of all employment supported indirectly. A similar study in relation to the US economy concluded that IP-intensive industries accounted for approximately US$5.06 trillion in added value, or 34.8% of US gross GDP in 2010, directly supporting 27.1 million jobs and indirectly supporting a further 12.9 million jobs in the supply chain. This report notes in the summary of principal findings that “the entire US economy relies on some form of IP, because virtually every industry either produces or uses it” ,.