Size of the Intangible Economy

How large is the intangible economy in the U.S.?

  • U.S. businesses invest about $1 trillion in intellectual property and other intangible assets, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Board.  That’s as much as they invest in equipment and other tangible investments.
  • Intangible assets, including intellectual property, constitute nearly 1/3 of the value of all U.S. stocks, or 45% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

(Source: "Businesses Battle Over Patent Laws," The Wall Street Journal, June 9-10, 2007.)

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