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Worldwide trademark and industrial design-creation

Worldwide trademark and industrial design; Activity rose in 2019- WIPI

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Geneva — Worldwide trademark and industrial design-creation activity rose in 2019 even as the number of global patent applications dipped slightly on weaker demand in IP powerhouse China, WIPO’s benchmark World Intellectual Property Indicators, WIPI, report showed.

Trademark and industrial design filing activity increased by 5.9 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively. A 3 per cent decline in global patent applications, the first fall in a decade, was driven by a drop in filings by Chinese residents. Excluding China, global patent filings rose 2.3 per cent.

The annual WIPI report collects and analyses IP data from some 150 national and regional offices to inform policymakers, business leaders, investors, academics and others seeking macro trends in innovation and creativity.

The WIPI’s 2019 figures, which pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic, underline the long-building growth in demand for the intellectual property tools that incentivize an increasingly global and digital-focused economy, said WIPO Director General Daren Tang.

“The robust use of intellectual property tools shows high levels of innovation and creativity at the end of 2019, just at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr Tang. “The pandemic has accelerated long-building trends by fostering the adoption of new technologies and accelerating the digitisation of everyday life. Because IP is so connected to technology, innovation and digitalisation, IP will become even more important to a greater number of countries in the post-COVID world.”

China’s IP office received 1.4 million patent applications in 2019, more than twice the amount received by authorities in the second-busiest country, the United States (621,453). The U.S. was followed by Japan (307,969), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO; 218,975), and the European Patent Office (EPO; 181,479). Together, these five offices accounted for 84.7 per cent of the world total.

Among the top five offices, the Republic of Korea (+4.3 per cent), the EPO (+4.1 per cent) and the U.S. (+4.1 per cent) recorded growth in applications, while both China (–9.2 per cent) and Japan (–1.8 per cent) saw declines.

Filings in China declined for the first time in 24 years due to a 10.8 per cent drop in resident applications amidst an overall shift in regulations there aimed at optimising application structures and improving the quality of applications.

Germany (67,434), India (53,627), Canada (36,488), the Russian Federation (35,511) and Australia (29,758) also featured among the top 10 offices. These offices saw mixed performance. Canada (+0.9 per cent) and India (+7.1 per cent) exhibited growth in filings in 2019, while Australia (–0.7 per cent), Germany (–0.7 per cent) and the Russian Federation (–6.4 per cent) recorded declines.

Offices located in Asia received close to two-thirds (65 per cent) of all applications filed worldwide in 2019 – a considerable increase from 50.9 per cent in 2009 – primarily driven by long-term growth in China. Offices located in North America accounted for just over one-fifth (20.4 per cent) of the world total, while those in Europe accounted for just above one-tenth (11.3 per cent). The combined share of offices located in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Oceania was 3.3 per cent in 2019.

In terms of filing abroad, which is an indication of a desire to expand in new markets, U.S. residents continue to lead with 236,032 equivalent patent applications filed abroad in 2019. The U.S. was followed by Japan (206,758), Germany (104,736), China (84,279) and the Republic of Korea (76,824).

Patents in force worldwide grew by 7 per cent to reach around 15 million in 2019. The highest number of patents in force was recorded in the U.S. (3.1 million), followed by China (2.7 million) and Japan (2.1 million). More than half of all patents in force in the U.S. originate from abroad, while domestic applicants accounted for around four-fifths of all patents in force in Japan.-WAM

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