Content Authenticity Initiative

Press Freedom Day


« Tissot Gentleman — Permanent Elegance | Main | UN proclaims International Day for Universal Access to Information. »

October 16, 2019

World Intellectual Property Filings for Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs reach Record Heights; China, India register Impressive Increases.


Photo: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.

Wipo, Geneva

Geneva, October 16, 2019 — Asia accounted for more than two-thirds of all patent, trademark and industrial design applications in 2018, with China driving overall growth in demand for intellectual property (IP) rights. The United States of America (US) maintained its supremacy in patent applications filed in export markets.

Innovators across the globe filed 3.3 million patent applications in 2018, up 5.2% for a ninth straight yearly increase, according to WIPO’s annual World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report. Global trademark filing activity rose to 14.3 million, while that for industrial designs reached 1.3 million.

“Asia continues to outpace other regions in filing activity for patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and other intellectual property rights. And these intellectual property rights are at the center of the global economy,” said WIPO Director General, Francis Gurry. “China alone accounted for almost half of all the world’s patent filings, with India also registering impressive increases. Asia has become a global hub for innovation.”

Worldwide ‘Plant Variety’ applications grew by 8.9% to reach 20,210 applications in 2018, while data received from 92 national and regional authorities showed some 65,900 protected geographical indications (GIs) in 2018.

• Patents

China’s IP office received the highest number of patent applications in 2018. A record of 1.54 million applications that amounts to 46.4% of the global total. IP offices of the US (597,141), Japan (313,567), the Republic of Korea (209,992), and the European Patent Office (174,397) followed China’s IP office. Together, these five offices accounted for 85.3% of the world’s total.

Among the top five offices, China (+11.6%), the EPO (+4.7%), and the Republic of Korea (+2.5%) recorded growth in applications, while both Japan (-1.5%) and the US (-1.6%) saw small declines. For the US, it was the first decline in applications since 2009.

Germany (67,898), India (50,055), the Russian Federation (37,957), Canada (36,161) and Australia (29,957) also featured among the top 10 offices. All of these offices saw growth in filings, ranging from 7.5% in India to 0.3% in Germany.

• Asia is the hub of global patent filings.

Asia has strengthened its position as the region with the most significant activity in patent filings. Offices located in Asia received two-thirds (66.8%) of all applications filed worldwide in 2018 - a considerable increase from 50.8% in 2008 - primarily driven by growth in China. Offices located in North America accounted for just under one-fifth (19%) of the 2018 world total, while those in Europe accounted for only over one-tenth (10.9%). The combined share of offices located in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania was 3.3% in 2018.

US applicants filed the most significant number of patent applications beyond its borders.

In terms of filing abroad, which is an indication of a desire to expand in new markets, US residents continue to lead with 230,085 equivalent patent applications filed elsewhere in 2018. Japan (206,739), Germany (106,753), the Republic of Korea (69,459), and China (66,429) followed the US.

• Trademarks

An estimated 10.9 million trademark applications covering 14.3 million classes were filed worldwide in 2018. The number of types specified in forms grew by 15.5% in 2018, marking a ninth consecutive year of growth.

China’s IP office had the highest volume of filing activity with a class count of around 7.4 million; followed by the IP offices of the US (640,181) and Japan (512,156); the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO; 392,925) and the IP office of the Islamic Republic of Iran (384,338).

Among the top 20 offices, the most substantial increases between 2017 and 2018 were in the IP offices of Indonesia (+29.1%), China (+28.3%), India (+20.9%), the Republic of Korea (+14.5%) and the United Kingdom (+12.4%).

• Asia leads in trademark filings.

Offices located in Asia accounted for 70% of all trademark filing activity in 2018, up from 36.2% in 2008. Europe’s share declined from 38.4% in 2008 to 15.8% in 2018. North America accounted for 5.8% of the world total in 2018, while the combined share of offices located in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania was 8.4% in 2018.

There were an estimated 49.3 million active trademark registrations worldwide in 2018 - up 13.8% in 2017, with 19.6 million in China alone, followed by 2.4 million in the US, and 1.9 million in India.

• Industrial designs

An estimated 1 million industrial design applications containing 1.3 million designs were filed worldwide in 2018, representing a 5.7% year-on-year increase. China’s IP office received applications containing 708,799 designs in 2018, corresponding to 54% of the world total. EUIPO (108,174), and the IP offices of the Republic of Korea (68,054), the US (47,137), and Germany (44,460) followed China.

Among the top 20 offices, the following five offices reported double-digit growth in design counts: the UK (+42.4%), the Russian Federation (+21%), Italy (+16.6%), India (+13.6%) and China (+12.7%).

• Asia sees the highest design activity.

Offices located in Asia accounted for more than two-thirds (69.7%) of all designs in applications filed worldwide in 2018, followed by Europe (23%) and North America (4.1%). The combined share of Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania was 3.2% in 2018.

Designs related to furnishings accounted for 10.5% of global filing activity, followed by those related to clothing (8.3%) and packages and containers (7.7%).

• Plant varieties

China’s relevant office received 5,760 plant variety applications in 2018, up 29% from 2017. It now accounts for over a quarter of the plant variety applications filed worldwide. The Community Plant Variety Office of the European Union (CPVO; 3,554), and relevant offices of the US (1,609), Ukraine (1,575), and Japan (880) followed China. Among the top five offices, China and Ukraine (+17.1%) saw double-digit growth in filings 2018; CPVO (+3.9%) and the US (+3.3%) reported similar growth rates. Japan (-13.6%) saw a sharp drop in filings.

• Geographical indications

In 2018, there were around 65,900 GIs in force worldwide. GIs are signs used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Germany (15,566) reported the most significant number of GIs in force, followed by China (7,247), Hungary (6,683), and the Czech Republic (6,285).

GIs in force relating to “wines and spirits” accounted for around 51.1% of the 2018 world total, followed by agricultural products and foodstuffs (29.9%) and handicrafts (2.7%).

• Publishing industry

Revenue generated by the trade and the educational sectors of the publishing industry of 14 countries amounted to USD 42.5 billion. The US (USD 23.3 billion) reported the most substantial net revenue, followed by Germany (USD 6.1 billion), the UK (USD 5.4 billion), and France (USD 3 billion).

Online sales channels generated more than half of all trade sector revenue in the UK (51.5%). The US (41.6%), Brazil (25.5%), and Sweden (23.5%) also saw large proportions of their total trade sector revenue generated by online sales channels. However, brick and mortar outlets continue to produce the highest share of total trade sector revenue for all the reported countries, except in Slovenia, the UK, and the US.

The US sold 2.6 billion copies of published titles covering the trade and educational sectors in 2018. The UK (652 million), France (419 million), and Turkey (400 million) followed the US.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information, and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 192 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it offers free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.


— The editor is an alumnus of the WIPO Academy. StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

Edited & Posted by the Editor | 12:39 PM | Link to this Post

Start from HOME Go to Top