inovia‘s “U.S. 2011 Global Patent & IP Trends Indicator” provides an in-depth look at the foreign filing strategies of US patentees. We uncovered some interesting findings this year, after surveying and interviewing nearly 150 companies and universities who are working in the “new IP norm” as many called it.
We found nearly 60 percent of all respondents are working on a reduced IP budget going into 2011. Respondents credited workflow changes (bringing steps in-house), vendor renegotiations (lower and/or flat rates) and other creative IP budget management techniques to reduce patent costs.
45 percent of respondents filed more than half of their patents overseas last year, yet they became much more strategic about each application and selective with the countries they chose to file into and those they chose to drop. On average, they filed into 5.9 countries in 2010 as compared to 6.6 in 2009 (from our survey last year).
Other key findings from the Indicator include:
- Shifts in Asian Filing Practices: Of the 25 percent of respondents who said they dropped countries last year, more than 50 percent named Japan. Other countries in the region, most notably South Korea, saw an increase in patent filings in 2010. Respondents indicated increased interest in South Korea due to its low-cost, high-quality searches and burgeoning industry and innovation, especially in the consumer electronics space.
- Resounding Call for Unified European Patent System: 88 percent of respondents answered “Yes” in support of a unified European patent system. Citing the cost, complexity and inefficiency of filing and validating into multiple countries, respondents expressed an overwhelming demand for a streamlined, cost-effective way of getting unified patent protection and enforcement in Europe.
- Filing Trends in China vs. India: We found that China far outweighs India as a filing destination. The reasons for this are the country’s growing level of IP knowledge and enforcement, the high amount of resources the Chinese government is putting toward its court system and its emerging innovation and industry. According to WIPO, the number of new patent filings by Chinese applicants has increased by 22.3 percent since 2000 and grew by 25 percent from January to October 2010 from the same time period in 2009.
For more information, download the report or watch an interview with inovia founder and Australian patent attorney Justin Simpson.