In September, the European Commission published a study that considered the effects of intellectual property rights on the European Union. The study looked at gross domestic product, wages, employment and trade. The results showed just how important IP is for business.

According to the bodies that commissioned the study, the Commission’s Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, the EU Observatory and the European Patent Office, IP plays a large role in economic growth. Forty percent of all economic activity in the EU is created in IP-intensive industries, and about 35 percent of all work in the EU is related to industries that rely heavily on IP.

One area that is particularly robust when it comes to trademarks and patents is the pharma industry. The manufacturing of pharmaceutical products was high on the list in both trademark and patents. These figures were higher in the EU than in a comparable study in the United States.

The pharma industry in the EU accounts for approximately €83.4 billion in exports, which is about 7 percent of the total IP-related exports from the continent. The industry also accounts for a high number of jobs, 584,633, according to the study. It generates €67.7 billion in gross domestic product, which is about 1.1 percent of the total GDP of the EU.

The study covered trademarks and patents during a span of 2004-2008 and a span of 2008-2010 to compare the two eras. The U.S. conducted a similar study in 2012, which found that, though important, pharmaceutical patents are not as primary a source of business in the nation as they are in Europe.