Highlights (or Lowlights?) of the World Intellectual Property Indicators 2010 Report

WIPO recently published its World Intellectual Property Indicators 2010 Report.  Not surprisingly, the data it contains reflects our own analysis of the economic climate’s effect on global innovation over a similar period.

There’s a lot to digest in this 145 page tome, so I’ve picked out a few nuggets of patent-related data which I felt to be particularly interesting.

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated global economic output to have shrunk by 0.6% in 2009.  This decline in global output (from a historic peak of 5.4% in 2007) had not been measured since the 1930s.
  • This decrease had a significant effect on the filing of patent applications worldwide.  Total patent applications had a 0% growth rate from 2008 to 2009 (I suppose this is better than a negative growth rate).  PCT applications did not fare as well, experiencing a 4.5% decrease in PCT applications filed in 2009 compared to 2008.  This is the first year-to-year drop in filed PCT applications since the inception of the PCT system.
  • A large part of the 4.5% decrease in filed PCT applications can be attributed to the 10.8% drop in PCTs filed by U.S. applicants.  The U.S. is the largest user of the PCT system, accounting for around 30% of total applications.
  • PCT applications filed by China experienced the largest growth rate (29.1%) in 2009, further reflecting China’s commitment to foster innovation and improve patent laws.
  • Panasonic Corporation of Japan supplanted Huawei Technologies of China as the top PCT filer in 2009 (1,891 vs. 1,846, respectively).
  • There was a slowdown in patents granted worldwide.  From its peak of 19.5% in 2006, growth of total patents granted had dropped to 0.6% in 2008.

These findings certainly corroborate the results of our 2010 U.S. IP Trends Report


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