Intellectual property: China drives patent application growth


wipoAccording to the 2014 edition of the “World Intellectual Property Indicators” (a report published in December 2014 by Wipo-World intellectual property organization that gathers data on intellectual property from more than 100 countries), in 2013 across the world IP filing activity saw growth of 9% for patents, 6.4% for trademarks and 2.5% for industrial designs. Reflecting growth rates of gross domestic product in many regions, IP filing increases are robust in China and the US, while declining in Europe and Japan. In total, innovators filed some 2.57 million patent applications worldwide in 2013, a 9% increase on 2012. China (32.1% of world total) and the US (22.3%) received more than half of global filings, while the European Patent Office (EPO) saw its share of the world total fall to 5.8%. The top three patent offices in 2013 were China, with 825,136 filings, followed by the US (571,612) and Japan (328,436). The gap between China and the other offices has widened considerably since 2011, when China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) became the world’s top office in terms of patent filings received. Among the top 20 offices, China (+26.4%) and Australia (+12.7%) saw the fastest growth in filings, followed by the Republic of Korea (+8.3%). Japan saw a 4.2% decline, while offices in Europe such as Italy (-1.1%), Spain (-6.6%), the UK (-1.3%) and the EPO (-0.4%) received fewer applications in 2013 than in 2012. Among the large middle-income countries, India (-2.1%) and South Africa (-2%) saw declines in filings while Brazil (+1.5%) and Malaysia (+3.8) recorded growth in filings. Computer technology (7.6% of total) saw the most published applications worldwide, followed by electrical machinery (7.2%), measurement (4.7%), digital communication (4.5%) and medical technology (4.3%). An estimated 1.17 million patents were issued in 2013. An estimated 9.45 million patents were in force worldwide in 2013, with the US accounting for the most with 2.39 million (26% of world total), followed by Japan (19%).