Study: How important IP rights are for the Swiss economy

Industries in Switzerland that make intensive use of intellectual property rights (IPR) contribute significantly to employment and the gross domestic product (GDP). This is the conclusion of a European study that has just been published.


The European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) have examined the role IP rights play in economic performance, with the focus of their study being on industries in the EU that make particularly intensive use of IP rights such as the pharma industry. Norway, Iceland and Switzerland were also analysed in the study as non-EU nations.


Switzerland – more than one million jobs in IP-strong industries


According to the study, 30.7% of employment or 1.3 million jobs are created directly through IPR-intensive industries* in Switzerland. In the EU, this figure is at 29.3%. The contribution of these branches to Switzerland’s GDP amounts to 41.3% or 241 million euros (44.8% for the EU). The study also highlights the different uses of IP rights, with trade mark protection at the top of the list for jobs and GDP (see graphic).


Following studies in 2013 and 2016, this is the third time the analysis report has been drawn up. However, this is the first time that figures from Switzerland have been used.


The complete study “Intellectual property rights intensive industries and economic performance in the European Union”:


*Note on terminology: In the study, industries are considered to be IPR intensive if they have more IP rights holders per employee than average in comparison to other industries using IP rights.