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WIPO Issues 2015 Global IP Indicators Report


Greetings from D.C.  In 2015 the United States ranked 2nd in patent applications, 2nd in trademark filings, 4th in industrial design applications, and 3rd in plant variety applications worldwide (in terms of total intellectual property (IP) filing activity—from both residents and abroad).  China ranked 1st in patents, trademarks and industrial design, while the Community Plant Variety Office (EU) ranked first in plant variety applications.  This data is from the latest World Intellectual Property Indicators Report issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

As the 2015 report highlights, 2.9 million patent applications were filed that year, reflecting a 7.8 percent growth over 2014.  China’s patent office received the most patent applications (1,010,406—making it the first patent office to receive more than one million applications in a single year). This includes applications from within China and those from elsewhere seeking patent protection in China.  Following China were the U.S. (589,410), Japan (318,721) the Republic of Korea (213,694), and the European Patent Office (160,028).  These top five offices accounted for over 82 percent of total global filings.

While only a small percentage of Chinese innovators filed for patent protection outside of China (42,154), U.S.-based innovators filed the largest number of applications outside their home country (237,961 applications), reflecting a 6-percent increase over the prior year.

Those industries with the highest percentage of patent applications worldwide were computer technology (7.9 percent of the total), electrical machinery (7.3 percent), and digital communication (4.9 percent).  Approximately 1.2 million patents were granted in 2015 (a 5.2-percent increase from 2014) and an estimated 10.6 million patents were in force during that year.

Approximately 6 million trademarks were filed in 2015 (an increase of 15.3 percent).  The top five offices in terms of filings were China (2.8 million), the U.S. (517,297), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (366,383), Japan (345,070), and India (289,843).  About 4.4 million trademark registrations were on record in 2015—a 26.6-percent increase over 2014.

A total of 872,800 industrial design applications were filed globally in 2015 (an increase of 2.3 percent).  This growth was driven mainly by applications filed in China, the Republic of Korea, and the U.S.  The top three areas for filings included designs related to furnishings (9.4 percent of all filings), clothing (8.3 percent), and packages and containers (7 percent).

Finally, around 15,240 plant variety applications were filed worldwide in 2015, down 2.3 percent from 2014.  The top three offices receiving plant variety applications were the Community Plant Variety Office (EU) (3,111), China (2,342), and the U.S. (1,634).  Not surprisingly, the Netherlands had the highest number of applications for an individual country in the world in 2015, filing 2,720 plant variety applications.

You can find the press release here and the full report here.

Gary can be reached at gkjones.ctr@federallabs.org.


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