Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WIPO Reports Increase in International Trademark and Patent Applications

The number of international trademark and patent applications rebounded around the world last year after having fallen in 2009, according to intellectual property (IP) figures released by the United Nations yesterday.

Trademark applications, the most sought-after form of IP protection, recuperated some of their losses with an increase from about 36,000 to 37,500, a 4.5 per cent growth, while patent filings rose to 164,300, slightly higher than 2008 levels, the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) reported.

Four Asian countries – China, India, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) – accounted for 37 per cent of trademark applications. India showed the highest five-year growth, recording 13.5 per cent from 2005 to 2009, while China had one of the highest annual growth rates, with 20.8 per cent from 2008 to 2009, according to <i>WIPO IP Facts and Figures 2011</i>, which covers patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs.

Trademark applications topped three million per year since 2005, with the China Trademark Office receiving a quarter of all such applications worldwide.

The top 10 patent offices accounted for approximately 87 per cent of all such applications in 2009, with the United States, Japan and China filing about 60 per cent of the total.

Of the top three patent offices, Japan showed a 10.8 per cent drop in applications received between 2008 and 2009, the US remained almost unchanged, and China saw an increase of 8.5 per cent. While most of the top 20 offices show a drop in applications from 2008 to 2009, about half indicate positive five-year growth.

Industrial design also shows significant growth rates due to high filings in China, which accounted for 50 per cent such activity, growing by 12.3 per cent from 2008 to 2009.

(Adapted from a UN Press Release)

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