8 Highlights from 2016 World Intellectual Property Indicators

iStock_000091951425_MediumThe 2016 edition of the report, World Intellectual Property Indicators, published by The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) documents key data and trends of IP activities worldwide. This excellent report shares industry insights and explores the role of IP in supporting and driving innovation and economic growth. In this blog, the Park IP team has selected eight highlights from the latest WIPO report that will impact future global IP activity.

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This year’s edition reported overall healthy growth in IP in 2015, with China as the main driver. Global patent filings and global trademark filings increased by 7.8% and 15.3% respectively.

Here are some of the key highlights from the 2016 report:

ONE: Patent Applications Worldwide

The number of patent applications filed worldwide in 2015 increased by 7.8% from 2014. Approximately 2.8 million patent applications were filed worldwide in 2015. China received the most filings at 1.1 million, accounting for 84% of total growth. The United States (589,410) and the European Patent Office accounted for 8.6% of total growth.

TWO: Top Patent Offices

The State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) received the most applications in 2015, followed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the European Patent Office (EPO). These offices accounted for 82.5% of the world total in 2015. The four BRIC countries – Brazil, the Russian Federation, India and China – rank among the top 10 offices.

THREE: Continued Shift Towards China:

Filings in China increased from 117,327 in 2005 to 1,101,864 in 2015. China is also the first office to receive over a million applications in a single year.

FOUR: Origin of Patent Applications:

Applicants from China filed the highest number of patent applications. They are followed by applicants from the US and Japan. China has been the largest origin of applications since 2012, and has seen enormous growth in numbers over the past three years.

China and the Russian Federation observed the fastest growth of 20.6% and 18.5% respectively in 2015. Among the top 20 origins, 12 are located in Europe.

FOUR: Frequency of Applications Filed for the Same Invention at Multiple Jurisdictions

The ratio of families to applications has remained at around 0.52 over the past 10 years. The ratio simply means that just over half of all applications are initial filings and the others are repetitive, mostly in foreign offices. Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland have low ratios of around 0.2 from 2011 to 2013, indicating substantial duplication due to high numbers of cross-border filings. In contrast, China and the Russian Federation have high ratios of around 0.8.

FIVE: Top Patent Applicants:

The top three patent applicants for the period 2010-2013 are Japanese companies – Panasonic of Japan with 34,352 patent families worldwide, followed by Canon with 29,036 patent families and Toyota Jidosha with 26,844 patent families. IBM, ranked 8th, was the highest-ranking US applicant.

SIX: Most Frequently Featured Technology Field

Computer technology accounted for the largest share of published patent applications worldwide, followed by electrical machinery, digital communication, measurement and medical technology. Each of these fields had over 100,000 published applications in 2014, with a 29.5% increase in their combined share in 2014. In the period from 2005-2014, digital communication and material metallurgy saw the fastest annual growth among the top 20 technology fields.

SEVEN: Highest Number of Patents Per Unit of GDP

The top five ranking has remained the same since 2010. Korea has been ranked first since 2004, followed by Japan and China. China’s resident applications per unit of GDP has the fastest growth among the leading origins, seeing an increase from 1,263 in 2005 to 5,269 in 2015.

EIGHT: Women’s Participation in International Patenting

The number of women inventors increased from 17% in 1995 to 29% in 2015. The total number of women inventors sees an annual average growth of 12.5%, while the number of male inventors is recorded to have a 9.5% growth per year over the same period. However, considerable variation in participation rates can be observed from across countries. The greatest gender equality can be seen in China and Korea, with about 50% of all PCT applications between 2011 and 2015 including women inventors. In contrast, Germany, Italy, Japan, and South Africa have the greatest gaps. Singapore (36.6%), Spain (36.3%), and Poland (33.5%) have decent shares of PCT applications with women inventors.

Click on following link to download the full WIPO report: World Intellectual Property Indicators 2016

Analysis conducted by Cecilia Tang, Welocalize Global Marketing and Sales Support

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