The global patent, trademark and design filings

The global patent, trademark and design filings

WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland has released the latest figures on global patent filings revealing continued growth and that China is topping patent filings

The WIPO publication World Intellectual Property Indicators 2012 reveals that 2011 patent filings worldwide were up 7.8 % in 2011, exceeding 7 % growth for the second year in a row. Increases registered also utility models (+35 %), industrial design (+ 16 %) and trademark filings (+ 13.3 %).

China is now the world’s largest patent office

China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) surpassed the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to became 2011 the world’s largest patent office, in 2010 it overtook the Japan Patent Office (JPO). 100 years before 2011, only three patent offices, namely Germany, Japan and the US had occupied always the position of the largest office. The newest results reflect how the geography of innovation is shifting.

China received 526412 patent applications in 2011, The U.S. reported 505582 patent filings and Japan 342610 filings. The increase in China is based mainly on a growth of resident filings. From 2009 – 2011 patent filings increased worldwide by 293900 and China accounted for 72 % of this increase.

Table 1 presents a country ranking of all patent system filings

Overview of total (resident plus abroad) IP activity by origin, 2011  
Origin Patents Marks Designs   Origin Patents Marks Designs
China 2 2 1   Belarus (5) 31 74 59
Germany 5 1 2   Colombia 54 46 71
United States of America 3 3 6   United Arab Emirates (4)(5)(6) 68 52 56
France (5)(7) 6 4 4   Malta (6) 64 53 60
Japan (5)(7) 1 10 8   Chile (6) 48 32 100
United Kingdom (6) 7 5 7   Lithuania 75 58 48
Italy 11 6 3   Monaco 75 54 54
Switzerland (6) 8 8 5   Saudi Arabia (5) 44 77 64
Republic of Korea 4 17 10   Iceland 57 76 53
Netherlands 9 9 13   Serbia 66 64 57
Spain 21 7 9   Republic of Moldova 69 73 50
Austria (5)(6) 18 11 12   Egypt (5)(6) 47 92 55
Sweden 13 13 16   Uzbekistan 61 72 62
Poland (6) 25 12 11   Sri Lanka (1)(2)(6) 65 69 63
Belgium 17 18 15   Bermuda (4)(5)(6) 73 67 60
Turkey 24 15 14   Barbados (6) 52 82 69
Denmark 15 22 17   Argentina (4)(5)(6) 60 62 82
Canada (6) 12 19 23   Peru (2) 86 48 75
India 14 16 25   Kazakhstan (5)(6) 35 97 78
Russian Federation 10 14 31   Algeria 81 80 52
Finland 16 23 20   Philippines (2)(6) 62 57 95
Australia 19 20 22   Indonesia (5)(6) 49 88 77
Brazil (1)(2)(3) 27 21 29   Bahamas (4)(5)(6) 78 70 67
Czech Republic 36 24 19   Paraguay (1)(2)(6) 94 55 ..
Luxembourg 32 27 24   Panama 88 63 76
Ireland (3)(5) 28 30 27   Mongolia (1)(2) 80 81 72
Portugal 46 25 18   Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)(6) 83 59 91
China, Hong Kong SAR 39 29 21   Georgia 72 95 68
Israel (6) 20 45 26   Uruguay (6) 90 68 ..
Norway (5)(6) 23 40 32   Armenia 67 83 88
Ukraine 29 34 38   Seychelles (4)(6) 84 96 65
Romania 40 28 35   Azerbaijan (5) 51 112 86
New Zealand (3) 30 42 33   Ecuador (1)(2)(3) 108 61 81
Mexico 34 26 46   San Marino (4)(5)(6) 89 78 86
Singapore 26 38 43   Jordan 86 75 95
Hungary 38 36 34   Lebanon (4)(5)(6) 92 90 74
Bulgaria 53 31 28   Bangladesh (6) 97 65 95
Greece (1)(3)(5) 41 35 37   Costa Rica (3) 97 66 95
Slovenia (1)(2)(6) 45 39 30   Andorra (4)(6) 101 88 70
Slovakia 50 43 36   Cuba (6) 73 100 ..
Liechtenstein (4)(5)(6) 42 49 39   T F Y R of Macedonia (5) 94 104 65
Cyprus 56 33 42   D.P.R. of Korea (1)(5)(6) 22 144 100
Malaysia (6) 33 50 49   Iran (Islamic Republic of)(4)(5)(6) 79 87 103
South Africa (6) 37 44 51   Bosnia and Herzegovina 92 105 73
Thailand (6) 43 41 58   Mauritius (4)(5)(6) 94 86 ..
Viet Nam 59 37 47   Tunisia (4)(5)(6) 108 79 88
Croatia 55 56 44   Guatemala (2) 124 71 84
Morocco (2) 70 47 40   Qatar (4)(5)(6) 101 85 ..
Latvia 58 60 41   Pakistan (5)(6) 77 110 ..
Estonia (6) 63 51 45   Kyrgyzstan (1)(6) 71 118 ..
                 
Note: The rankings are based on total number of applications by origin. Patent data refer to the number of equivalent patent applications. Trademark data refer to the number of equivalent trademark applications based on class count (i.e., the number of classes contained in applications). Industrial design data refer to the number of equivalent industrial design applications based on design count (i.e., the number of designs contained in applications). D.P.R. of Korea = Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The table reports origins for which at least two types of IP data are available.        
(1) 2010 patent data. 
(2) 2010 trademark data.
(3) 2010 industrial design data.
(4) Data on patent applications at the national IP office are not available; however, applications at the regional IP office are included.
(5) Data on trademark applications at the national IP office are not available; however, applications at the regional IP office are included.
(6) Data on industrial design applications at the national IP office are not available; however, applications at the regional IP office are included.
(7) Trademark data are estimated.

Record patent filings

For the first time ever the total number of patent applications filed worldwide exceeded the 2 million mark in 2011. The 2.14 million applications filed consisted of 1.36 million resident and 0.78 million non-resident applications. In 2009 there was a drop of 3.6 % in filings, with a strong rebound in 2010 (+7.5 %).

The growth rates of the major 20 patent offices were as follows: China + 34.6 %, Hong Kong + 15.3 %, South Africa + 13.5 %. The middle and low income countries present a mixed trend. Algeria + 11,3 %, Madagascar + 41.9 % and Saudi Arabia  (6.3 %), mainly due to non-resident filings, in contrast contractions are witnessed in Guatemala -13.1 %, Jamaica -27.6 % and Jordan -15.6 %.

The applicants’ origin is dominated by residents of Japan with 472417 filings, followed by Chinese residents (+ 41.3 %).

Digital communication witnessed the highest annual growth rate with 8.1 % between 2006 – 2010, on the other hand pharmaceuticals have continuously declined since 2007. Computer technology accounted for the largest number of applications with worldwide 126897.

Patent applications for four energy related technologies, namely fuel cells, geothermal, solar and wind energy increased by 8 % in 2010 to 34’873. Residents of Japan filed the largest number relating to solar energy and fuel cell technologies, while residents of Germany accounted for the largest numbers of applications relating to geothermal and of the USA in wind energy.

WIPO’s experts estimate that the number of patents granted is approaching the one million mark, with 606800 issued to residents and 390000 to non residents. Worldwide grants grew by 9.7 % in 2011. The Japan Patent Office granted with 2338323 the largest number of patents, followed by the U.S. with 224505.

Table 1 b gives an overview on resident IP activities by origin

Overview of resident IP activity by origin, 2011      
Origin Patents Marks Designs   Origin Patents Marks Designs
China 1 1 1   Norway (5)(6) 27 .. 58
Germany 5 4 2   Slovakia 51 43 38
United States of America 3 2 9   Ireland (3)(5) 32 63 40
Japan (5)(7) 2 8 6   Israel (6) 31 59 ..
Republic of Korea 4 9 3   Saudi Arabia (5) 46 .. 44
France (5)(7) 7 3 8   Luxembourg 45 50 41
Italy 9 10 4   Greece (1)(3)(5) 38 74 26
India 10 5 11   Slovenia (1)(2)(6) 43 49 46
Turkey 17 6 5   Croatia 52 51 37
United Kingdom (6) 8 11 10   Colombia 59 31 50
Russian Federation