UN's World Intellectual Property Organization: First-Ever Figures on Value of "Intangible Capital" in Manufactured Goods: $5.9 Trillion

GENEVA, November 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --

A groundbreaking new study [http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2017/article_0012.html ] by the World Intellectual Property Organization gives the first figures ever to be publicly released on the value of "intangible capital," such as branding, design and technology, in manufactured goods.

This report by WIPO, a UN agency based in Geneva, Switzerland, shows that intangible capital in manufactured goods accounted for about $5.9 trillion in 2014, contributing twice as much as buildings, machinery and other forms of tangible capital. This underscores the growing use of the intellectual property tools that protect intangible and related assets in the worldwide economy.

The "World Intellectual Property Report 2017: Intangible Capital in Global Value Chains" (WIPR 2017) looks at how much income accrues to labor, tangible capital and intangible capital in global value chain production across all manufacturing activities, representing one quarter of total global economic output, with case studies focusing on coffee, solar panels and smartphones.

"Intangible capital will increasingly determine the fate and fortune of firms in today's global value chains. It is behind the look, feel, functionality and general appeal of the products we buy and it determines success in the marketplace," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. "Intellectual property, in turn, is the means by which companies secure the competitive advantage flowing from their intangible capital."

Other WIPR 2017 findings include:


- Intangible capital accounted, on average, for 30.4 percent of the total value of
manufactured goods sold throughout 2000-2014.
- The intangible capital share rose from 27.8 percent in 2000 to 31.9 percent in 2007,
but has remained stable since then.
- Overall, income from intangibles increased by 75 percent from 2000 to 2014 in real
terms, amounting to USD 5.9 trillion in 2014.
- Three product groups - food products, motor vehicles and textiles - account for close
to 50 percent of the total income generated by intangible capital in the manufacturing
global value chains.


Read the full press release [http://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2017/article_0012.html ].

CONTACT: Edward Harris, edward.harris@wipo.int, +41-22-338-7224; Samar Shamoon, Samar.shamoon@wipo.int. +41-22-338-8161

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