Economic research

We undertake and support economic analyses on policy issues related to intellectual property (IP) and on the broader roles and impacts of IP in the economy. The Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) leads these efforts through engagement with scholars, collaboration on research projects, and conference events. OCE also releases datasets on USPTO patents and trademarks to advance economic research on IP. 

Featured IP infographic

Inventors Who Patent Enjoy Higher Lifetime Earnings

A USPTO prepared report finds that inventors who apply for and receive a patent may experience a wide range of personal benefits, including heightened prestige, increased income, promotions, new job opportunities, and increased professional networks. The figure below, from Akcigit et al. (2017), plots the lifetime earning profiles for inventor-patentees, high-skill non-inventors, and other non-inventors. Starting after age 25, wages for inventor-patentees (the dark blue line) are always greater than wages for non-inventors and high skilled non-inventors, with a smaller wage gap for high skilled non-inventors. Read more about the image below.

Line graph showing logged income of inventors, non inventors and high skill non inventors. Age is on the x axis (range is from 17 to 65) and logged income (1940 base) is on the Y axis.

For previous infographics, visit the IP infograpics page.