The worldwide filing of patent, trademark and industrial design registrations reached a new high in 2016. Especially China is responsible for the new record numbers, with high increases of filings in all three sections. So have been more patents applied for in China in 2016 than in the US, Japan, South Korea and the European Patent Office combined. Here is a short overview of the Annual Report 2017 of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO):
Worldwide patent filings: Germany in sixth place
According to WIPO’s new annual report, a total of 3,127,900 new patents were registered in 2016, an increase of 8.3% over the previous year. The Chinese Patent Office (SIPO) has again seen the largest increase in registrations (+ 21.5%), reinforcing China’s path away from copying and towards an innovator nation. However, looking at the country’s per capita applications, countries such as South Korea, Germany, Japan and the United States continue to be ahead of the Chinese. With 67,899 patent applications filed with the DPMA in 2016, Germany is ranked 6th in the list.
Concerning patent applications abroad, the US remains in the first position. US citizens filed more than four times more patent applications overseas (215,918) than the Chinese (51,522). On the other top places are Japan (191,819), Germany (75,378) and Korea (69,945).
Trademark application: China is expanding its lead
The number of trademark applications has tripled worldwide since 2001 with a jump to approximately 7 million in 2016. This shows the importance of brand protection in a globalized business environment. Here, too, China continues to lead the field with an incredible 30% increase in trademark applications at the domestic Intellectual Property Office. Other nations in the top 20 with a significant increase in trademark applications are Russia (+ 14.8%), Great Britain (+ 19.1%) and Vietnam (+ 21.1%).
What is striking about the trademark applications is that only 5% of all trademark applications filed by Chinese citizens have been made abroad. The leaders in this category are the Swiss, who have searched for trademark protection abroad in 77% of all cases, followed by the Americans (46%), Germans (45%) and Dutch (44%).
The most frequent requests for trademark protection are worldwide in advertising and business management (10.5%), computers, software and instruments (6.9%), education and entertainment (5.9%) and clothing (5.9%).
Design application: EUIPO in second place
In total, 963,100 design applications with approximately 1.2 million different designs were applied for in 2016. In this section also China has recorded the steepest growth curve (+ 14.3%). Other countries with a remarkable increase in design registrations are Iran (+ 34.8%) and Ukraine (+ 17.4%). Most applications were filed in furniture design (10.8%), clothing (8.6%) and packaging and containers (7.3%).
For the first time, WIPO included the geographical indications (GIs) in this year’s report. GIs are used for products which have a specific geographical origin and therefore have a certain quality and reputation, e.g. Parma ham or champagne. The report covers 54 national or regional authorities who have assigned 42,500 protected GIs.
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Text: WIPO Report 2016