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By Sanjeev Kumar
Founding Attorney

Why is intellectual property important to my career?

All aspects of intellectual property (IP), including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets  have become central to moving ahead in nearly all professions. While in the past intellectual property was normally the purview of only research and development teams, inventors, and lawyers specializing in the field, today IP is often the focal point of business, and even science, the arts, and other professions. This is because in a world moving forward at exponentially increasing speed, new ideas and innovations, rather than labor, raw materials or capital investment, are the driving economic force.

Reasons IP Is Crucial

There are several reasons you should consider IP as central to your business. These include:

  1. The fact that IP now makes up over 35 percent of the U.S. economy and, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, is worth $5 trillion a year. This translates into the value of IP in the U.S. being greater than the total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any other nation except China.
  2. Almost a third of all U.S. employment is in the field of IP-intensive industries — over 40 million jobs! Moreover, weekly salaries in these industries are 42 percent higher than in all other sectors. In patent and copyright-based industries, the wages are over 70 percent. Perhaps even more impressive, IP-intensive products account for 60 percent of total U.S. merchandise exports.
  3. While just 40 years ago, intangible assets comprised only 20 percent of the market value of publicly traded U.S. companies, they now represent 80 percent.  A research study presented last year reported a good reason for the shift in ratio: patented products and services generate a 50 percent higher return than unpatented ones.
  1. IP is accelerating the most significant developments in science, business, arts, and the professions. This is quite evident in recent court cases involving the entertainment industry and copyright infringement. Music copyright lawsuits have even plagued the political arena, e.g. where the Rolling Stones demanded that Donald Trump stop using their songs at his campaign rallies.
  2. According to experts in the field, as much as 80 percent of worldwide technical knowledge is contained only in patent documents.
  3. At present, IP is the force behind business start-ups, professional growth, and business negotiations. As a matter of fact, 67 percent of entrepreneurs recently stated that patents are now vital to securing venture capital.

Because the majority of employers count their IP as their most important asset, it is incumbent upon them to understand as many aspects of intellectual property as possible. The best way to keep apprised of current IP strategy and patent law is to engage the services of an excellent business attorney.

About the Author
Sanjeev Kumar is the founder and principal at the Kumar Law Firm, which provides a wide range of legal services to entrepreneurs and business owners in the area of business & corporate law and intellectual property along with related areas of interest to clients such as business succession planning, wealth preservation through estate planning, and alternate dispute resolution.