China Continues High Growth In IP Filing, But Is There More To The Story? 04/02/2016 by Jahan Harry Taubman-Rezakhanlou for 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)Sheer intellectual property filings may not be the only or even best measure of innovation, but they are a closely watched economic indicator. Using what data it has, the World Intellectual Property Organization recently touted China’s continued massive growth in this area, particularly in patent applications. China in 2014 held its position as the fastest growing patent-filing nation for the fifth year in a row, WIPO reported in December. This growth contributed to a worldwide increase of patents and trademarks, whilst a decrease in Chinese output of industrial designs contributed to a worldwide slump. “China is the number one user of the IP system in the world,” WIPO Director General Francis Gurry told a 14 December press briefing releasing the annual report, also commenting that “the numbers coming out of China are extraordinary.” China finds itself at the top of all three sectors of IP: filing patent applications, trademarks and industrial designs. Globally, there was a 4.5 percent growth in patents and 6 percent growth in trademarks. However, for the first time in two decades, industrial designs slumped, falling by an “unusual” number of 8.1 percent worldwide, according to the report. Plant variety filings also showed growth in 2014, WIPO said. China remains the highest single contributor to the global level of patents. Gurry stated that these numbers “demonstrate the massive body in China that uses IP.” China also has the largest patent filing office by numbers received, with a figure of almost million (928,177), outstripping the numbers of patents received by runners-up, the United States and Japan combined. The full report is available on the WIPO website here. Numerically, the regions with the highest patent filing applications are: China – 928,177 United States – 578,802 Japan – 325,989 South Korea – 210,292 European Patent Office (EPO) – 152,662 However, China did not top the list of highest growth amongst large-middle income economies: Iran (+18.5%) China (+12.5%) Vietnam (+11.3%) Turkey (+9.4%) Philippines (+9.3%) The figures on trademarks also provided a similar story, where China, increasing output of trademarks by 18.2 percent, reached 2,222,680 registered trademarks. It again beat the two closest runners-up (United States and European Union)’s combined results (471,228 and 333,443). China has also overtaken Germany as the largest origin of filing activity worldwide for trademarks. Trademark applications: China (2,222,680) US (471,228) EU’s Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) (333,443) France (269,837) Japan (242,073) China’s decline in industrial designs (14.4%) provides a ‘statistical’ reason for a worldwide decrease in industrial designs (8.1%). Carsten Fink declared that “the reason alone that we saw a worldwide decline is entirely due to China.” This alone demonstrates the immensity of China’s influence, where “such a sharp decline in China” translates into a worldwide decrease. However a lengthy explanation as into why, on a social level, there has been a decline in industrial designs cannot be made instantly, as many different individual factors come into play since many different regions decreased such as in Turkey, Australia and Korea, whilst the EU and Iran increased. Asia as a whole has become the most powerful region in terms of Intellectual property, and whilst this can be mostly accredited to China’s colossal contribution, alongside the traditional ‘high-contributors’ that Korea and Japan still prove to be, other Asian countries have stood out. The most notable of these countries are Iran and India with a 18.5 percent and 15 percent increase in patent applications and an 83 percent and 9 percent increase in industrial designs, respectively. Another Side to Story? Looking at the report statistics from the bottom up, it appears that a large number of WIPO members, especially the smallest economies, did not report statistics or had exceedingly few to no patent filings. As a United Nations agency focused on development of its members, it might be asked whether there has been progress on raising the participation in the global IP system of the countries at the bottom of the results over time. Jahan Harry Taubman-Rezakhanlou was an intern at Intellectual Property Watch. William New contributed to this report. 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 Jahan Harry Taubman-Rezakhanlou may be reached at email@example.com."China Continues High Growth In IP Filing, But Is There More To The Story?" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.