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.