The Ideas America Sells To The World | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

The Ideas America Sells To The World

The U.S. sells over $1 trillion worth of stuff to the world every year. We also export hundreds of billions of dollars worth of services — legal and financial advice, plane tickets, etc.

After we ran the chart above earlier this year, one category in particular piqued our interest: Royalties and licensing. That category is, essentially, ideas America sells to the world.

In 2010, the most recent year for which data are available, the world paid U.S. companies $105.6 billion to use our ideas. This is why companies that rely on royalties and licensing — Microsoft, say, or Disney — are always making such a big deal about piracy and intellectual property. Here's a closer look.

Most of this is pretty self-explanatory. Software, not surprisingly, is huge. The one big jargony category is "industrial processes." This includes patents on drugs (a big one), as well as on particular ways to make everything from chemicals to cars.

For detailed data on U.S. royalty and licensing exports to countries around the world, see this Excel spredsheet from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

See more posts in our Graphing America series.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Out Of Ukraine, This 'Suitcase' Packs An Immigrant's Story With Humor

Ari Shapiro talks with first-time novelist Yelena Akhtiorskaya about her book, Panic in a Suitcase.
NPR

McDonald's Responsible For Treatment Of Workers, Agency Says

The National Labor Relations Board has found that McDonald's shares responsibility for working conditions at its franchised restaurants. The company will fight the ruling.
WAMU 88.5

Activists Protest Federal Minimum Wage, Saying Increase Doesn't Cut It

Protestors gathered outside Union Station to protest what they consider a paltry federal minimum-wage hike.
NPR

OkCupid Sometimes Messes A Bit With Love, In The Name Of Science

OkCupid, the online dating site, disclosed Monday that they sometimes manipulate their users' profiles for experiments.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.