I can advise the Deputy that while it is not possible to place a quantum on the actual number of jobs in Ireland supported by Intellectual Property rights protection, a study carried out in 2013 establishes a clear link between Intellectual Property rights protection in terms of stimulating innovation and creativity leading ultimately to job creation.
The EU-wide study published in September 2013 was undertaken jointly by the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) and the European Patent Office and looked at the impact of Intellectual Property Rights on the European economy. Ireland’s rating in that study is very favourable. This can be attributed to the level of high quality foreign direct investment that we have successfully attracted to locate here. In the study, Ireland was rated first in terms of GDP share in all IPR-intensive industries in the EU, first for GDP share of copyright-intensive industries and, first for GDP share of trade mark-intensive industries. Ireland performs well also in relation to other rankings, positioned third in the EU for GDP share of patent-intensive industries and above average employment share in copyright-intensive industries. Ireland has the highest percentage of IP-intensive employment from industries based outside the European Union.
Corresponding to this study, it is encouraging and provides positive affirmation of our capabilities in this area that Ireland was ranked 10th in the context of the Global Innovation Index 2013 published in June 2013. This is the 6th edition of the Global Innovation Index and it evaluated 142 economies worldwide, using 84 indicators. Ireland had relative strengths in Knowledge & technology outputs, including knowledge creation, impact and diffusion, Business sophistication including knowledge workers, innovation linkages and knowledge absorption, Human capital & research, including education and research & development and the capacity of our Institutions, in particular the favourable regulatory and business environment.
In general, Intellectual property rights are an increasingly important aspect of how many companies are trading and doing business worldwide, adding value, branding recognition and ensuring certainty for creators and innovators. Through the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs, we have targeted key sectors to encourage job creation and growth in our economy with intellectual property rights forming an integral part of operations in many of these sectors.
This Government is conscious of the central role that IP protection plays in further economic development and has therefore focussed on ensuring that Ireland’s Intellectual Property regime compares favourably with best international practice. Late last year, an independent review Committee published a Report entitled “Modernising Copyright” and my Department is currently examining the 60 plus recommendations in this Report with a view to bringing forward proposals for legislative reform in this area later this year.