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State has much to protect in area of intellectual property

Published 10:47pm Saturday, August 11, 2012

A national study shows that Intellectual Property (IP)  is a huge contributor to Mississippi’s economy and thus directly indicates the importance of protecting  intellectual property rights through enforcement, notes Attorney General Jim Hood today.

The state intellectual property jobs study, titled IP Creates Jobs for America, was released by the Global Intellectual Property Center at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The report builds on an earlier report which had focused on IP-intensive industries throughout the supply chain. This  new report takes into account “the economic contributions of IP outside the supply chain and its broad impact on the U.S. economy.” In other words, it captures the “spillover” benefits of IP to the broader economy.    

“This first of its kind study shows that intellectual property-intensive companies have a direct and significant impact on jobs, productivity, and competitiveness in every  state of the union,” said Mark Elliott, executive vice president of the GIPC. “Intellectual property’s economic contributions are evident across all states, large and small.”

The report breaks down how IP contributes to each state’s economy by looking specifically at employment, output, exports and wages and shows the following about Mississippi:

Employment— The report shows that IP supports 440,685 jobs in Mississippi, which is 46 percent of our state’s private sector jobs.  Of these, 171,543 (18 percent) are direct IP jobs;  269,142 (28 percent) are indirect.

Output — IP-intensive companies generate 68% greater output per employee (the average output per private sector employee is $64,870 while the average output per IP employee is $109,124).

         — In Mississippi, $109,124 of output per IP job creates a total of $202,558 output in the state economy.

Exports —  Of $10.9 billion in total exports, $9.2 billion (84.4%) is attributable to IP exports. 58,528 jobs are created by IP exports in Mississippi.

Wages — In Mississippi, IP-intensive companies pay 27% higher than non-IP companies (the average wage per private sector employee is $30,830 vs. $39,223 in average wages per IP  employee).

     —  $39,223 wages paid to an IP job creates a total of $85,455 wages in the state

“We are working every day in our state to protect Intellectual Property Rights through our IP Theft Task Force,” said Attorney General Hood. “These findings really help us  see just how much we have to protect in this area in Mississippi. IP is a significant contributor to Mississippi’s economy and we will continue to work hard to keep thieves from taking any of it away from us.”

As part of the initiative, the Attorney General offers annual training to law enforcement officers. This year’s conference is being held August 14 in Pearl at the Pearl Community  Center.

The Attorney General’s IP initiative is being paid for through a federal grant, which also makes overtime available for local law enforcement officers working qualified IP  investigations. Since 2009, the Consumer Protection Division of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office has made 31 arrests related to IP, seizing over 45,000 counterfeit goods with an estimated value of over $1.7 million.

Attorney General Hood is also confronting IP theft on a national level, serving as co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General IP committee, which works to coordinate  state AG efforts in this area. As part of Attorney General Hood’s work with NAAG, the GIPC has been an important partner with the AGs in developing solutions to emerging IP issues.

For a complete look at the national study, go to www.agjimhood.com and click on the “IP Jobs Study” link under “alerts”.  More information concerning Mississippi’s anti-counterfeit initiative can also be found at http://mipcc.ago.state.ms.us/.

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