A new study by the European Union Intellectual Property Office shows that turnover and employment are higher in enterprises that simultaneously use trademarks, patents and designs for the same product.
How many enterprises use trademarks, patents and designs for the same product, and what are the advantages for firms that protect the results of their inventive and creative activity with multiple intellectual property rights simultaneously?
In October 2020 the European Union Intellectual Property Office published Use of IPR bundles by EU firms 2014-2015, a study that looks at EU firms that simultaneously used different intellectual property rights for the same products during that period.
The intellectual property rights considered in the study are the trademark of the European Union, the Community design and the European patent. A sample of over 63 thousand EU enterprises is examined to find that 8.3% had applied for one or more of the above rights. 1% of these enterprises applied for all three kinds.
The study shows that the likelihood of combined use of trademarks, patents and designs changes according to the economic sector: it’s more likely to find combined use of rights in manufacturing, less in services. The larger the firm, the more likely it is to simultaneously use multiple intellectual property rights for the same product.
In the period of reference almost 25% of Italian enterprises owned at least two different intellectual property rights. Italy is therefore above average in this respect, taking eighth place after Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, France, Austria, Denmark and Poland.
Among firms included in the sample, enterprises with at least two different intellectual property rights carry strong economic weight, generating 31.9% of jobs and 35.5% of the sample’s turnover. The 1% of enterprises that filed applications for all three kinds of intellectual property rights generated 14.1% of employment and 16% of turnover. The study therefore confirms that an enterprise’s combined use of multiple intellectual property rights coincides with a higher turnover as well as with the creation of more jobs.
A similar link has already emerged in the study High-growth firms and intellectual property rights published jointly by the EUIPO and the European Patent Office (EPO) in May 2019, which examined the use of multiple intellectual property rights by the same enterprise (but not necessarily on the same product).
This study found that small enterprises simultaneously using trademarks, patents and designs are more likely to achieve high growth than enterprises that use only one intellectual property right, or none at all.