TODAY'S IDEA IS TOMORROW'S SOLUTION

October 1, 2009

With Congress and the nation trying to tackle so many issues at once -- the economy, health care, energy, climate change, financial reform, transportation, and the list goes on -- one might wonder how an issue like intellectual property could gain much traction.  However, IP is more important than ever precisely because we are addressing these key issues, says Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Why?  Because IP and innovation are at the heart of many of them, from rebuilding the economy and reforming health care to tackling climate change and getting our trade agenda back on track.  You can't reach successful outcomes on any of these issues without recognizing the important role IP, innovation, and creativity play in each of them, explains Donohue.

Let's start with IP's role in economic recovery.  First, stop and think for a minute about IP's overall contribution to the economy:

  • IP-dependent industries account for more than $5 trillion of the gross domestic product (GDP), comprise more than half of all exports, and represent 40 percent of America's economic growth.
  • In 2007, the value added by the core copyright industries was $889 billion.
  • In addition, 18 million Americans work in IP-intensive industries.
  • These jobs often pay better and are expected to grow faster over the next decade than the national average.
  • So the innovative and creative industries represent a huge chunk of GDP, employ millions of Americans in good-paying jobs, and fuel economic growth.

Now, think about this: New ideas and innovations have helped power the economy out of every recession in the history of our country.  That's more true today than ever before.  In laboratories, studios, research hubs, and even in home garages entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators are hard at work turning their ideas into real products that will put people back to work, benefit consumers, and make America more competitive, says Donohue.

When you add it all up, you quickly realize that IP protection and creativity are key to achieving our nation's number one priority -- jobs and economic growth, says Donohue. 

Source: Tom Donohue, "Today's Idea is Tomorrow's Solution," U.S. Chamber of Commerce, September 30, 2009.

 

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