First-Time Study Demonstrates Trademarks Major Contribution to GDP, Exports, and Jobs in Thailand

General Press Releases Thursday September 14, 2017 11:25
Bangkok--14 Sep--ABM

A new impact study released today by the International Trademark Association (INTA) reports that industries which intensively use trademarks contribute significantly to five major economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. Analysis from The Economic Contribution of Trademark-Intensive Industries in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand indicates that trademark-intensive activities generate increased employment across sectors and added contributions to international trade. Trademark-intensive industries are defined as those industries which file more trademarks than other industries–weighted against total employment in that industry.

The release of the report coincides with the 50th anniversary of the ASEAN, which has successfully grown to become the world's seventh-largest market and home to the third-largest labor force over the last half century. INTA commissioned the report from Frontier Economics, an internationally recognized economics research firm. The study is the first of its kind to analyze the correlation between trademarks and their economic impact on contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), share of exports, and employment in major markets of Southeast Asia.

Specifically, looking at data from 2012 to 2015, trademark-intensive industries within Thailand generated a 22% direct contribution to GDP and 40% indirect contribution to GDP, reflecting a direct correlation between trademark-intensive and non-trademark intensive industries. In terms of employment, output, and value-added, workers' share of the workforce represented 13% of total employment. Trademark-intensive industries in Thailand comprised 60% of the country's share of exports, including manufacturing of computers, electronics and related equipment, and motor vehicles which each accounted for around13% of total manufacturing value added.

"In Thailand, manufacturing constitutes a trademark-intensive sector that yields considerable economic contributions for the country's economy. Findings from the study also indicate that even non-trademark intensive industries in Thailand are heavily supported by trademark-intensive industries," noted INTA Member Dr. Jakkrit Kuanpoth, Of Counsel, Tilleke & Gibbons in Bangkok, Thailand. "This new study reinforces the notion that trademark-intensive activities play a pivotal role in driving innovation, accelerating economic development, and strengthening international trade for Thailand as the country enacts the new Thailand 4.0 Strategy."

INTA CEO Etienne Sanz de Acedo said the results of the new study "underscore the immense potential for cross-sectoral economic growth that can be unlocked by promoting the value of trademarks with the business community, government, and the general public, and by further developing national trademark systems and trademark-intensive industries. As we explore the long-term economic and social implications of trademarks and related intellectual property (IP) rights, it becomes increasingly important for both public and private sectors to scale up engagement on this issue, as well as support government efforts to further trademark and brand development and protection, including protection of goods in transit."

Building on similar methodologies used by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), findings from the ASEAN report echo emerging analytical trends with regard to trademark-intensive activity. In the European Union, from 2011 to 2013, IP-intensive industries in Europe generated more than 42% of total economic activity; trademark-intensive industries alone produced 36% (€4.8 trillion) of that activity and generated nearly 46 million jobs (21%). A similar study conducted by the USPTO also found that IP-intensive industries continue to be a major, integral, and growing part of the U.S. economy. In 2014, trademark-intensive industries accounted for 23.7 million jobs in the U.S. In Latin America, according to a recent study commissioned by INTA of trademark-intensive industries in Chile, Colombia, Panama, Peru, and Mexico, from 2010 to 2014, their contribution to GDP varied between 10% and 21%, and workers' share of the workforce ranged from 8% to 26% of total employment.

Click to download the ASEAN impact report and to download a Thailand-focused infographic.

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