Despite Global Economic Gloom, IP Registration Boomed In 2012 09/12/2013 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)China is on top again – for rapid growth in intellectual property filings. Defying global economic turmoil, the big headline from the 2013 World Intellectual Property Indicators released today, shows that China topped the charts when compared to other countries in term of patent and trademark filings last year. But the report, produced by the World Intellectual Property Organization, indicated good news for other countries and IP as well; patent filings overall grew by 9.2 percent last year – the fastest growth in the last 18 years. The slowdown of 2008 and 2009 seems to be ancient history, as intellectual property drew a larger number of applicants worldwide. Patent offices throughout the world have to meet the challenge of patent quality in the face of the strong demand. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry, speaking at a press briefing this morning, said the strength of the demand for IP titles is the expression of the knowledge economy and the understanding of the competitive advantage that comes from innovation. “China is a major player in the IP world these days,” he said, adding that the Chinese office is the only office among the top five IP office that shows a double digit growth in patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs. For example, the report shows that residents of China filed 560,681 patent applications, compared with 486,070 for Japan and 460,276 for the US (numbers for residents). China, like in the 2012 IP indicators report, continues to feed the system and is found to the “the main driver of global growth,” according to WIPO. In 2012, domestic Chinese applicants accounted for the largest numbers of applications in patents, utility models, trademarks, and industrial designs. Answering a question about patent quality in the face of the high number of applications, Gurry said that the quality of patents is a concern and a challenge for IP offices and for WIPO. IP offices have developed multiple tools to manage demand, he said. He mentioned WIPO Case, which is a system enabling patent offices to share search and examination documentation related to patent applications to facilitate work sharing. Initiated in 2011, after a request by the patent offices of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, the system is getting interest from Japan, China, and Singapore, Gurry said. Patents and Utility Models Patent filings grew by 9.2 percent in 2012 with 2.35 million applications. Geographical distribution of patent filings remains conservative, the report shows, with 64.5 percent of patent filings registered in high-income countries’ IP offices in 2012, but that number shows a decrease in recent years, from 78.5 percent in 2007 while the share of middle-income countries increased from 17.7 to 32.1 percent in the same period. This is mainly attributable to the growth in applications at the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO). The top 10 IP offices for patent filings were: China, United States, Japan, South Korea, European Patent Office (EPO), Germany, Russia, India, Canada, and Brazil. Fields of technology which attracted the most filings from 2007-2011 were food chemistry, digital communication, micro-structural and nanotechnology, while telecommunications, audiovisual technology, and optics showed a decrease. The estimated patent enforced worldwide also increased from 8.03 million in 2011 to 8.66 million in 2012. The total number of applications that were “potentially pending” worldwide in 2012 is estimated at approximately 5 million, which is less than their 2009 level of 5.5 million. This figure, however does not take into account data from SIPO. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has the largest number of pending applications undergoing examination in 2012, followed by the EPO, Japan, South Korea, and Germany. Trademarks, Industrial Designs Industrial design registrations grew by 17 percent compared to 2011, which represents the highest growth “since design count records became available in 2004,” according to WIPO. Some 52.6 percent of trademark applications were filed in middle and low-income countries, according to the report. The top filers for trademark applications were China, Europe’s Office for the Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM), US, Germany and Turkey. In middle-income countries, South Africa ranks first, followed by Colombia, Romania, Thailand, and Bulgaria. In 2012, the goods most favoured by trademark applicants, broken down according to the Nice Classification were: advertising and business management; clothing; scientific, photographic, measuring instruments, recording equipment, computers and software; education, entertainment and sporting activities, and pharmaceutical preparations, baby food, dietary supplements for humans and animals, disinfectants, fungicides and herbicides. For industrial designs, the top IP offices were China, OHIM, South Korea, Germany and Turkey. The estimated number of industrial design registrations in force globally amounted to 2.71 million in 2012, with SIPO having the largest number of registration in force. The top applicants under the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs were: Swatch (Switzerland), Daimler (Germany), Koninklijke Philips electronics (Netherlands), Procter & Gamble (US), Audi (Germany), and Nestle (Switzerland). The report also includes a special section on the international mobility of inventors and looks into the opportunities for using IP data and patent applications for migration-related research. “High-skilled migrants decisively contribute to innovation outcomes, to the international diffusion of knowledge and, ultimately, to the economic growth of nations,” the report states. WIPO Extraordinary General Assembly This Week WIPO delegates will convene for three days starting tomorrow for the Extraordinary General Assembly, and try to close issues that kept the regular General Assembly unfinished in September. Gurry at the press briefing said that the two main issues to be resolved were the potential diplomatic conference to conclude a design law treaty in June 2014, and a question of new WIPO external offices (IPW, WIPO, 3 October 2013). Delegates will also have to approve the Programme and Budget of the organisation. Intensive consultations have been taking place among delegates over the last three weeks, according to Gurry, and although “good progress” has been made, no resolution have been reached, he said, hoping for a successful outcome at the conclusion of the coming three days. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Despite Global Economic Gloom, IP Registration Boomed In 2012" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.