The United Kingdom’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) recently released a report on sectors of the economy which make the most intensive use of intellectual property (IP) rights, and how much these sectors contribute to the UK economy. The new report is comparable to a similar report from 2019 by the European Patent Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
At least one patent was registered in 360 of 616 UK industries studied, and 64 industries were found to make above average use of patents. The average number of patents per 1,000 employees for all industries was 3.55. Some industries had significantly higher numbers of patents per 1,000 employees:
- Manufacture of other transport equipment: 61.26
- Manufacture of engines and turbines, except aircraft, vehicles and cycle engines: 48.82
- Manufacture of other special-purpose machinery: 47.44
- Research and experimental development on biotechnology: 45.18
- Manufacture of flat glass: 44.44
Perhaps unsurprisingly, highly competitive and research intensive industries appear to make the most use of the temporary exclusive rights patents offer for inventions.
Intensive use of patent protection appears to have significant economic benefit to these industries. The industries with above average patent use, although representing only 3.9 % of total UK employment, represent 7.2 % of total UK output and 39.3 % of total UK goods export value.
This underlines the importance of patent protection to many industries that make a significant contribution to the UK economy, including highly skilled manufacturing and research industries.
Almost all of the 616 UK industries studied made use of the trade mark system, with 586 industries found to have at least one trade mark registration. 116 industries were found to make above average use of trade marks. The average number of trade marks per 1,000 employees was 37.30.
Some industries had significantly higher numbers of trade marks per 1,000 employees than average. Interestingly, the industry with the most intensive use of trade marks was the manufacture of wine from grape, with 3330.00 trade marks per 1,000 employees. Some other industries with use of trade marks significantly above the average include publishing of computer games (671.59), manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products (341.03), and manufacturing of games and toys (188.91).
Of the 616 UK industries studied, 388 industries made use of registered designs, and 75 industries were found to make above average use of registered designs.
The average number of registered designs per 1,000 employees was 5.96, with the most intensive use of registered designs found in the manufacture of cutlery with 365.45 registered designs per 1,000 employees.
Other intensive users of registered designs include manufacture of assembled parquet floors (90.00), manufacture of magnetic and optical media (75.00), manufacture of games and toys (55.43), and wholesale of tobacco products (46.43).
Industries with above average use of registered design rights represent 3.9 % of total UK employment, but 23.8 % of total goods export value.
This IPO report highlights that IP rights are used across most industries of the UK economy. Different industries tend to make more intensive use of different IP rights. Manufacturing and research industries making most use of patents, consumer goods industries making intensive use of trade marks, and creative design-based industries most frequently using registered designs.
A number of industries make use of all available IP rights to maximise protection for their inventions, brands, and designs. Industries that make above average use of patents and registered designs appear to have a significant advantages when exporting goods, contributing significantly above expectations to the UK’s total goods export value.
Here at Reddie & Grose, our experts specialise in protecting the full range of IP rights. Businesses in industries that make intensive use of patents or trade marks may benefit from considering registered design right protection, and vice versa. If you would like to find out more about how protecting your intellectual property using any of these IP rights may give you an advantage over your competitors, or how it may add value to your business, please do get in touch with us.
This article is for general information only. Its content is not a statement of the law on any subject and does not constitute advice. Please contact Reddie & Grose LLP for advice before taking any action in reliance on it.