In 2012 the US produced this report :
Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy
INDUSTRIES IN FOCUS
Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are the principal means for establishing ownership rights to inventions and ideas, and provide a legal foundation by which intangible ideas and creations generate tangible benefits to businesses and employees.
Intellectual property (IP) protection affects commerce throughout the economy by: providing incentives to invent and create; protecting innovators from unauthorized copying; facilitating vertical specialization in technology markets; creating a platform for financial investments in innovation; supporting startup liquidity and growth through mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs; making licensing-based technology business models possible; and, enabling a more efficient market for technology transfer and trading in technology and ideas.
On April 11, 2012, the U.S. Commerce Department released a comprehensive report, entitled “Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus,” which found that intellectual property (IP)-intensive industries support at least 40 million jobs and contribute more than $5 trillion dollars to, or 34.8 percent of, U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
Pretty compelling stuff.
To my knowledge there is nothing comparable in New Zealand.
In 2012 a report Price Waterhouse Coopers produced a report for the NZ screen industry which found that the film and television industry’s total contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) was $2.78 billion, representing 1.4% of New Zealand’s total GDP.
This report was important (though it should be noted our film industry is under threat and under resourced). But it’s not the full picture.
Our growing tech industry, the total intellectual capital of our ideas and their conversion to export potential remains unquantified. Consequently, it’s hard to argue in hard facts when it comes to points of trade off in a trade deal so important as the TPP. THis doe not make the value of our ideas any less improtant though.
So what’s the government doing about it? Well it seems; a big fat nothing!
When the mega ministry MBIE came before the Commerce Select Committee earlier this year I asked them what work was being undertaken on treating New Zealand’s intellectual property as ” a sector” and what quantification was being done. They looked at me blankly and made noises about determining New Zealand’s compliance with our obligations under various international trade and other agreements. In other words, our Ministry of Economic Development is only concerned with whether we protect other countries IP laws rather than thinking about how we can protect our own innovation industries against the multinational corporate interests.
That didn’t seem very smart to me. What do you think?