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Global Intellectual Property Indicator in 2017 Published by WIPO

January 19, 2018
Post by Xiaohong Liu, Ph.D.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) published its annual report, Global Intellectual Property Indicator 2017, on January 8, 2018. The report is 226 pages long and contains mostly statistics and colorful graphs. Although it is not a "must read" for everyone, it is definitely an informative resource for anyone who is in the business of creating or protecting intellectual property.

The following are a few statistics I found interesting and will hopefully entice you to read the report. The report can be found here.

  1. Global intellectual property (IP) filings have reached a new high. Global patent filings grew by 8.3% to a total of 3,127,900, trademark filing activity by 13.5% to 9,768,200, industrial design filing by 8.3 to 1,240,600, unity models filing by 28.9% to 1,553,300, and plant varieties by 8.3 to 16,510. This growth marks the seventh year of straight increases.
  2. China increased its patent filing by 21.5%, as did filing activity for trademarks (+30.8%) and industrial designs (+14.3%). The United States of America also saw increases in filing activity for patents, trademarks and industrial designs, which grew by 2.7%, 5.5% and 12.1%, respectively.
  3. The State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) received 1.3 million patent applications in 2016 – more than the combined total for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO; 605,571), the Japan Patent Office (JPO; 318,381), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO; 208,830) and the European Patent Office (EPO; 159,358). Together, these top five offices accounted for 84% of the world total in 2016.
  4. The top ten patent offices in term of patent filing number are China, US, Japan, Korea, EPO, Germany, India, Russian Federation, Canada, and Australia. Brazil drops out of top 10 this year as a result of a 7.3% annual decline in filings in 2016. The Russian Federation (-8.6%), Brazil (-7.3%), Indonesia (-6.7%), and Canada (-6%) also reported the most substantial declines.
  5. Around 96% of all applications from China are filed in China and only 4% filed abroad. In contrast, filings abroad constitute around 43% of total applications from Japan and the U.S. Among the top 20 origins, applications filed abroad made up a large share of the totals for Canada, Israel and Switzerland. However, in absolute numbers, the U.S. had the most with 215,918, followed by Japan (191,819) and Germany (75,378). Germany saw growth in applications abroad, whereas these decreased for both Japan and the U.S.
  6. Applicants residing in China, while ranking first in terms of resident applications, filed considerably fewer applications abroad (51,522). However, applications filed abroad from China have increased markedly in recent years – from around 7,000 in 2006 to the 51,522 filed in 2016.
  7. Other trademark filing hot spots are in Japan (+30.8%), the Russian Federation (+14.8%) and India (+8.3%), and the hot spots in industrial design filing activity are in the Russian Federation (+9.4%) and at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO; +6.5%).
  8. Average pendency time for first office action was shortest at the offices of New Zealand (1.3 months), Mexico (3) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (4). In contrast, Brazil (84 months) and India (72 months) had the longest pendency times for first action.
  9. The top 5 technical fields measured by published patent applications are Computer Technology, Electrical Machinery, Apparatus, Energy; Measurement, Digital Communication, and Medical Devices. These fields counted 28.6% of the published patent applications.
  10. The fields of Biochemistry, Pharmaceuticals, Organic Fine Chemistry, Food Chemistry, Analysis of Biological Material, Basic Material Chemistry, and Macromolecular Chemistry Polymer have the highest percentage of women inventors, from about 58% to about 44%.


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The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.

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