WASHINGTON — Outlining the importance of intellectual property, or IP, protections, the Obama administration released a report on Wednesday that also emphasized the job and export contributions made by clothing stores, cosmetics companies and apparel and textile manufacturers, and ways to protect their trademarks and other rights.
This story first appeared in the April 12, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“This first-of-its-kind report shows that IP-intensive industries have a direct and significant impact on our nation’s economy and the creation of American jobs,” said Commerce Secretary John Bryson. “When Americans know that their ideas will be protected, they have greater incentive to pursue advances and technologies that help keep us competitive, and our businesses have the confidence they need to hire more workers. That is why this administration’s efforts to protect intellectual property, and modernize the patent and trademark system, are so crucial to a 21st century economy.”
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The report, which found that “intellectual property-intensive industries” support at least 40 million jobs and contribute more than $5 trillion, or 34.8 percent, of U.S. gross domestic product, was compiled by Commerce and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In addition, merchandise exports of IP-intensive industries totaled $775 billion in 2010, accounting for 60.7 percent of total U.S. merchandise exports.
The report will be used as a tool to help press for intellectual protections in trade negotiations and provide supporting data for the administration’s new International Trade Enforcement Agency, which could bring cases against countries where counterfeiting and digital piracy is rampant, according to Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank.
The segments of the fashion industry were among a group of 75 intellectual property-intensive industries reviewed by Commerce in the report. It divided intellectual property into three categories: trademarks, patents and copyrights. In the entire trademark category, the area with the highest concentration of fashion industry brands and retailers, employment was six times as high as that of patent-intensive industries, and stood at 22.6 million of the 40 million across all industries in 2010, according to the report.
The report said clothing stores employed 1.11 million people in 2010, while the soap, cleaning and toiletries industry employed 104,200 and footwear manufacturing employed 13,500.
Highlighting the significance of protecting fashion industry trademarks, the report ranked the number of trademark registrations by class. It showed that clothing stores filed 91,923 trademark registrations, or 5.1 percent of all such registrations, and ranked seventh among 49 trademark classes from 2000 to 2009. Cosmetics and “cleaning preparations” companies filed for 51,940 trademarks, representing 2.9 percent of the total, and ranked 10th, while jewelry companies ranked 26th and filed for 21,422 trademark registrations, or 1.2 percent of the total. Leather goods companies, which ranked 27th, filed 20,843 trademark registrations, or 1.2 percent of the total, and fabric companies, ranking 34th, filed for 12,233 trademark registrations, or 0.7 percent of the total.