Patent-intensive industries are those with above-average patent intensity — patents to jobs ratio. While all industries rely on patents, industries with a higher than average patent intensity have a significant impact on our economy. According to a March 2012 report issued jointly by the Department of Commerce's US Patent and Trademark Office and the Economics and Statistics Administration, employment totaled 27.1 million jobs in IP-intensive industries in 2010, representing 18.8 percent of all jobs in the economy. The definition of jobs includes not just payroll (or wage and salary workers), but also the self-employed and unpaid family workers.
While trade statistics do not tell us anything about the IP content of exports or imports, U.S. IP-intensive industries are a major part of U.S. trade. Merchandise exports of IP-intensive industries totaled $775 billion in 2010, accounting for 60.7 percent of total U.S. merchandise exports, while merchandise imports of IP-intensive industries stood at $1,336 billion or 69.9 percent of total U.S. merchandise imports. From 2000 to 2010, exports of IP-intensive industries increased 52.6 percent while imports of IP-intensive industries rose 61.6 percent.
Employment in IP-intensive industries has lagged other industries over the past two decades due primarily to historic losses in manufacturing jobs. This decline tracks with other statistics showing that during the last decade the economy was underinvesting and underperforming in manufacturing. For much of the 2000s, manufacturing capacity remained stagnant, and for the first time in decades, manufacturing firms' real investment in fixed assets stagnated.
Over the two decades, shrinking employment in patent-intensive industries was offset by expansion in the copyright-intensive ones. The copyright-intensive industries largely belong to the information and professional and technical services industry sectors. Their employment trends parallel the trends seen in those sectors: steady growth in the 1990s and offsetting gains and losses in the 2000s. Job growth between 2000 and 2010 in professional and technical services was largely offset by employment declines in the information industries.
|NAICS Code||Industry Title||Patent|
(Patents/ 1000 Jobs)
|3341||Computer and peripheral equipment||54,416||196.1||277.5|
|3344||Semiconductor and other electronic components||50,088||448.7||111.6|
|3343,-6||Other computer and electronic products||7,744||71.4||108.5|
|3345||Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments||42,415||441.3||96.1|
|335||Electrical equipment, appliance, and components||23,503||433||54.3|
|3254||Pharmaceutical and medicines||13,627||291.3||46.8|
|3253,-5,-6,-9||Other chemical products and preparation||10,322||318.1||32.4|
|3391||Medical equipment and supplies||9,716||303.2||32|
|3252||Resin, synthetic rubber, fibers, and filaments||2,771||106.4||26|