The WIPO International Patent World 2013



The WIPO International Patent World 2013

Again in 2013, the USA and China has driven WIPO’s, the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Geneva (CH) record level patent filing activity. The number of annual international patent applications exceeded the 200000 mark for the first ever time. International trademark and industrial design filings also achieved new record breaking levels

The summary

The 2013 total number of filings under WIPO’s PCT Patent and Cooperation Treaty (allowing patent protection simultaneously in multiple jurisdictions by filing a single international patent application) amounted to 205300, or 5.1 % more than 2012. The 2013 U.S. applications amounted to 57239, exceeding its previous filing peak of 54046 application reached prior to the global financial crisis in 2007. China surpassed Germany to become the third largest user of the PCT system, with Japan as the second highest user. Panasonic of Japan, with 2881 published PCT applications overtook ZTE Corporation of China as the largest filer. Huawei Technologies, Co. of China filed 2094 and Qualcomm Inc. of the U.S. 2036, and these are the two other applicants with more than 2000 PCT applications published in 2013. Among the top 50 applicants, US Intel Corp. with 1212 applications saw the largest increased in PCT filings, while ZTE Corporation (top applicant 2011 and 2012) with 1212 filings saw the largest decline. The USA accounted to 56 % and China to 29 % of the total PCT filings.

Table 1 gives details on data for all countries


Among the top 10 PCT filing countries, China (+ 15.6 %), The U.S. (+ 10.8 %), and Sweden (+ 10.4 %) saw double digit growth in 2013. The U.S. witnessed its fastest growth rate since 2001. China’s growth rate is similar to the one registered 2012. Germany (- 4.5 %) and Great Britain (- 0.6%) are the only two countries among the top ten with fewer PCT applications in 2013 as to compare to 2012. Following strong growth in 2011 and 2012, Japan saw only modest growth of 0.6 % in 2013.

After China, India (1392) is the largest user of the PCT system among low- and middle income countries, followed by Turkey (835), Brazil (661), South Africa (350), Malaysia (310) and Mexico (233). Among those countries, Turkey (+ 56.1 %) saw the fastest growth in filings, followed by Mexico (+ 22 %) and Brazil (+12.2 %).

In line with growing investments in R&D, the automotive industry has seen a sharp increase in international patent filings over the last three years.

The technology areas of applications can be had from Table 2


For 31 of the 35 technology fields, the top 10 applicants are all from the business sector. In four technology fields – analysis of biological materials, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and nanotechnology – applicants from the public sector feature among the top ten.  

An interesting aspects offers also the list of the top applicants of educational institutes were the University of California tops with 398 applications, followed by MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology with 217, Columbia University with 1333, the University of Texas System and Harvard University  each 119. US Universities occupy nine of the top ten positions among educational institutions.

Details of applications by educational institutes can be had from Table 3


International trademark filings

International trademark applications filed under the Madrid System (International Registration of Trademarks in multiple jurisdictions by filing a single international application) grew to 46829 in 2013, the highest ever number recorded (+ 6.4 %). The U.S. accounted for 21.8 % of the total growth. Germany, with 6822 applications, continued to file the largest number of Madrid International applications, followed by the U.S. with 6043 and France 4239. Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis heads the list of top applicants, with 228 applications in 2013.

The ranking of the top 10 Madrid filing countries is similar 2012. Among the top 10 origins, Australia (+ 20.9 %), the Netherlands (+14.9 %) and the U.S. (+11.3 %) saw the fastest growth in filings in 2013, while Japan was the only country to record a decline in filings against 2012. Behind the top 10, Turkey 1213 and the Russian Federation 1126 are also large users of the Madrid system. Mexico 46 and India 41 – two new Madrid members – filed similar number of international trademark applications in 2013.

More details on the filing data for all countries can be had from Table 4


In 2013, the total number of designations and subsequent designations in international registrations increased by 7.2 %. China was the most designated Madrid member. However, its share of total designations decreased from 6.1 % to 5.8 % in 2013. The Russian Federation surpassed the EU to become the second most designated Madrid member (5.2 %), followed by the EU (5.0 %), the US (4.90 %), Switzerland (3.8 %) and Japan (3.7 %).

Table 5 presents data for all designated Madrid  members


Among the new Madrid members, Mexico (5095) received the largest number of designations, followed by India with 1916, Tunisia 138 and Rwanda 100.

Among the top 10 designed members, the Russian Federation (+9.6 %), the Republic of Korea (+ 8.7 %) and Australia (+ 8.6 %) saw the fastest growth in designations received, while Switzerland (- 1.8 %) was the only top ten designated member to record a decline.

Beyond the top ten, Turkey with 1213 and the Russian Federation 1126 are also large users of the Madrid systems. Mexico (46) and India (41), two new Madrid members, filed similar numbers of international trademark applications in 2013.

Table 6 gives details on data for the top 15 classes


When submitting a trademark application, an applicant is required to specify the goods or services to which protection should apply in accordance with an international classification system kown as the “Nice Classification”. The most popular classes of goods and services in international registrations recorded 2013 were Class 9 (covering, for example, computer hardware and software) representing 9.1 % of the total. Class 35 (covering services such as office functions, advertising and business management) was the second most popular class, with 7.7 % of the total, followed by Class 42 (covering services provided by for example, scientific, industrial or technological engineers and computer specialists) and Class 25 (covering clothing, footwear and headgear.

Among the top 15 classes, Class 5 (mainly pharmaceuticals) and Class 30 (mainly foodstuffs of plant origin) saw the fastest growth in 2013, with 9.0 % and 8.6 %, respectively.

International industrial design applications

2013 International industrial design applications filed under the Hague System (up to 100 industrial designs in multiple jurisdiction are possible by filing a single international application) increased to 2990 filings, another record (+ 14.8 %). Switzerland filed 662 applications, it overtook Germany with 643 applications as the largest user of the system, while Swiss Swatch AG (watches) with 113 applications, continued to be the largest individual filer.

Table 7 allows the detailed view of data for all countries


The top three Hague users – Switzerland, Germany, and Italy – accounted for 58 % of the total Hague applications filed in 2013. Among low and middle income countries, Turkey (70) filed the largest number of Hague applications, followed by Bulgaria (22) and China (18).

Among the top 10 countries, Italy (+ 121.7 %) and Norway (+ 105.9 %) saw the most rapid growth in applications in 2013, while Sweden (-5.8 %), France (- 4.9 %), the Netherlands (- 4.6 %) and Turkey (- 2.8 %) recorded filing declines.

In the total number of designs filed under the system grew by 5.8 %. Germany accounted for 27.5 % of the total, followed by Switzerland (23 %), France (10.8 %) and Italy (8.4 %). The total number of designs contained in designations amounted to 67113 in 2013, a modest increase of one percent.

The total number of designations in international applications amounted to 16159 in 2013, an increase of 13.9 %. The EU received with 2099 the most designations, followed by Switzerland 1934, Turkey 1339, Norway 785 and Singapore 743.

Table 8 presents Hague’s top 15 classes


The Hague total registrations by class saw packages and containers (Class 9) and clocks and watches and other measuring instruments (Class 10) as occupying the largest shares with 10.9 %, followed by furnishing (Class  6) and means of transport (Class 12) with shares of 8.4 % and 7.2 % respectively. Among the top 15 classes, recording and communication equipment (Class 14: + 42.5 %), and tools and hardware (Class 8: + 40.3 %) saw the fastest growth in applications in 2013, whereas clothing (Class 2: – 15.3 %) saw the largest decline.  

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