Thursday, January 17, 2013


Thursday, January 17, 2013
Last month the World Intellectual Property Organization released its 2012 World Intellectual Property Indicators Report. A link to the full report can be found at  This report highlights global intellectual property trends for 2011.  Below I have touched upon points I found of particular interest from this report.

2011 saw strong growth in global patent (7.8%) filings over the previous year with the majority of the top 20 patent offices reporting an increase in the number of patent applications filed, a notable exception being the EPO which saw a decrease (-5.4%) in the number of patent filings in 2011.  China led the charge in patent filing growth with an astonishing 34.6% growth in 2011 as compared to 2010, with an increase in resident filings accounting for the majority of the growth.  In China non-resident filings accounted for only 21.0% of total filings in 2011.  In comparison, non-residents accounted for over 86% of patent filings in the Canadian Patent Office in 2011. 

Between 2009 and 2011, over 70% of the growth in worldwide patent application filings was due to increased filings with the State Intellectual Property Offices of China (SIPO). Increased filings at the USPTO accounted for 16.2% of global growth during this period.  The SIPO is now the largest patent office in the world knocking the USPTO out of the top spot in 2011.

There was a significant growth (11%) in the number of world-wide Patent Cooperation Treaty applications filed in 2011 with the U.S. and Japan accounting for almost 50% of total filings. China (33.4%) saw double digit increases in the number of PCT filings.  In 2011, 9.0% of all PCT filings originated in China.  This number is particularly dramatic when one considers that in 1995, China only accounted for 0.3% of PCT filings.  Canada saw respectable growth (8.6%) in the number of PCT filings in 2011.   

This report details data from 2006 to 2010 that shows growth in patent filings is technology dependent with the number of pharmaceutical patent applications continuing to decline, while those related to biotechnology, nano-technology and specific areas of chemistry increasing. The highest levels of growth were observed in digital communications and computer technologies.

By: Claire Palmer