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US and China Drive International Patent Filing Growth in Record-Setting Year

13-Mar-2014 | Source : | Visits : 6568

GENEVA - The United States of America and China drove record-level patent-filing activity via the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2013 as the number of annual international patent applications surpassed the 200,000 mark for the first time. According to WIPO, international trademark and industrial design filings also achieved new record-breaking levels.

The total number of filings under WIPO’s Patent and Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications filed in 2013 amounted to 205,300, representing 5.1% growth compared with 2012. The United States of America (US) saw double digit growth in PCT filings and together with China accounted for 56% and 29% of the total PCT growth, respectively.

With 57,239 applications in 2013, the US exceeded in 2013 its previous filing peak of 54,046 applications reached prior to the global financial crisis in 2007. China surpassed Germany to become the third largest user of the PCT system, with Japan as the second-highest user. The US remains the most-active user of the system.

Patent filings under the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 2013
Trademark filings under the Madrid System in 2013
Industrial design filings under the Hague System in 2013

Panasonic of Japan, with 2,881 published PCT applications overtook ZTE Corporation of China as the largest filer in 2013.

“The new records in international IP filings attest to the importance of intellectual property in the global innovation ecosystem,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “WIPO’s global intellectual property systems are an indispensable part of the global innovation ecosystem, providing cost-effective options to secure international coverage for the protection of intellectual property.”

In line with growing investments in research and development (R&D), the automobile industry has seen a sharp increase in international patent filings over the last three years.
International trademark applications filed under the Madrid system grew to 46,829 in 2013, the highest number ever recorded, representing 6.4% growth on 2012. The US accounted for 21.8% of the total growth. Germany, with 6,822 applications, continued to file the largest number of Madrid international applications, followed by the US (6,043) and France (4,239). Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis heads the list of top applicants, with 228 applications in 2013.

International industrial design applications filed under the Hague system increased to 2,990 filings in 2013, also another record, representing growth of 14.8% on 2012.  Switzerland, with 662 applications, overtook Germany (643 applications) as the largest user of the system, while Swatch AG of Switzerland, with 113 applications, continued to be the largest individual filer.

Among the top 10 PCT filing countries, China (+15.6%), the US (+10.8%) and Sweden (+10.4%) saw double-digit growth in 2013. The US saw its fastest growth rate since 2001. China’s growth rate is similar to the one it registered in 2012. Germany (-4.5%) and the UK (-0.6%) are the only two countries among the top ten with fewer PCT applications in 2013 than in 2012. Following strong growth in 2011 and 2012, Japan saw only modest growth of 0.6% in 2013.

After China, India (1,392) is the largest user of the PCT system among low- and middle-income countries, followed by Turkey (835), Brazil (661), South Africa (350), Malaysia (310) and Mexico (233). Among those countries, Turkey (+56.1%) saw the fastest growth in filings, followed by Mexico (+22%) and Brazil (+12.2%). Annex 2 reports data for all countries.

Panasonic Corporation of Japan – with 2,881 published PCT applications – overtook ZTE Corporation of China (2,309) as the top applicant in 2013. ZTE Corporation was the top applicant in 2011 and 2012, while Panasonic Corporation headed the top applicant list in 2009 and 2010. Huawei Technologies, Co. of China (2,094) and Qualcomm Incorporated of the US (2,036) are the two other applicants that saw more than 2,000 PCT applications published in 2013. Among the top 50 applicants, Intel Corporation of the US (+1,212) saw the largest increases in PCT filings, while ZTE Corporation (-1,597) saw the largest decline. Annex 3 reports data for the top 50 applicants.



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