Saturday, 19 May 2012 14:15


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Facebook’s historic initial public offering (“IPO”) on Friday was preceded by a patent portfolio “shopping spree” illustrative of the importance of intellectual property’s role in the U.S. economy.  According to news reports in the months leading up to its IPO, it appears that Facebook acquired well over 1,000 patents and patent applications outright, as well as licenses to many more patents, including large groups of such patents formerly owned by IBM [article] and AOL [article], among others.  Regardless of the strategy implications as to whether the acquisitions were primarily for defensive purposes, offensive purposes, or a relatively equal balance of each, the sheer magnitude of Facebook’s patent purchasing activity was exemplary of the dominant impact that intellectual property-intensive industries are having on the U.S. economy.

According to a U.S. PTO study and report, the entire U.S. economy relies on some form of intellectual property (“IP”) because virtually every industry either produces it or uses it.  According to the report, IP-intensive industries accounted for about $5 trillion in value added, or nearly 35% of U.S. gross domestic product ("GDP") in 2010.

The job market was equally impacted. IP-intensive industries directly accounted for 27.1 million American jobs, and IP-intensive industries indirectly supported another 12.9 million more jobs throughout the economy, totaling 40.0 million jobs, or 27.7% of all jobs in 2010.

For a USPTO summary and additional statistics on the impact of IP-intensive industries, click here

For a related USPTO press release, click here.

For the full report co-authored by the USPTO and the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), click here

Read 2587 times Last modified on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 17:00
Jason LaCosse

As a Registered Patent Attorney, Mr. LaCosse concentrates his practice in Patent and Trademark Prosecution, Intellectual Property Enforcement, and Licensing. He maintains an AV-Preeminent peer rating by Martindale-Hubbell, is Board Certified by the Florida Bar as an expert in Intellectual Property Law, and is licensed to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida. Mr. LaCosse is an active member of the Dade County Bar Association, serving on the DCBA Membership Committee and the DCBA Intellectual Property Committee. Mr. LaCosse earned his bachelor's degree in Applied Physics with honors from Michigan Tech, his master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and his law degree from the University of Denver.