WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Indicators 2015

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WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Indicators 2015 was released last month and provides a report covering various areas of intellectual property including patents, utility models and trademarks.

The data is drawn from national and regional IP offices, WIPO and the World Bank. We’ve included some patent highlights from the report below:

  • The top 5 offices in order: China, United States of America, Japan, Republic of Korea, European Patent Office
  • Top 5 technology fields in order: Computer technology, electrical machinery, measurement, digital communication, medical technology
  • Applications: 2.68 million (4.5% increase from last year)
  • Grants: 1.18 million (0.3% increase from last year)
  • In force: 10.2 million

In total, around 2.68 million patent applications were filed worldwide in 2014, up 4.5% from 2013. While this 4.5% growth in filings in 2014 is lower than the growth rate in each of the previous four years, China has consistently been the driving accelerator, accounting for 89% of growth.

The State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) received the most applications by far, followed by the USPTO, JPO, KIPO and EPO respectively. SIPO, with 928,177 filings, received more applications than the combined total of the USPTO and JPO. If the trend continues, SIPO will become the first office to receive a million applications next year.

In 2014, the top five offices accounted for 82% of the world’s total applications, considerably higher than their 2000 share of 70%. To break it down even further – the top 20 list includes patent offices from thirteen high income economies, five upper middle income economies and two lower middle income countries. Nine offices were located in Asia, six in Europe and two each in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. South Africa, ranked 23rd, was the highest placed office in Africa.

To download the entire report, click here.

Which PCT International Search Authority (ISA) should I use?

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Below is a reexamination of a popular article from 2013, Which PCT International Search Authority (ISA) should I use? Originally published by Jeff Shieh, we update the statistics for 2016 and take a look back at the processes involved in selecting a PCT International Search Authority:

The International Search Report (“ISR”) is a fundamental part of the PCT procedure. Once a PCT application is filed, an International Search Authority (ISA) performs a search of the prior art, and provides the results to the applicant in the form of an ISR. The applicant can use the ISR to gain an insight into what prior art they might encounter during examination after national phase entry.

An ISA is, in effect, a patent office with its PCT hat on. Most ISA searchers and examiners are simply examiners at their local patent office, with special training in the special requirements of the PCT (note: the USPTO outsources some of its PCT International Searches to private search companies).

There are presently 20 ISAs, up from 15 in 2013. Every Receiving Office allows applicants access to at least one ISA. Some countries allow PCT applicants to choose from more than one ISA.

The choice for most applicants worldwide is their local patent office, if it’s available as an ISA. Even when there’s a choice of ISAs, there seems to be a default choice to stick with the local patent office. Many applicants will ultimately want to enter the national phase in their local country, so having the search performed by someone with experience in that country (i.e., a local examiner) may be useful.

However, if you have the option of choosing from more than one ISA, it’s worth taking some time to think about the advantages and disadvantages of the different options.

The US, in particular, offers a wide range of ISAs to applicants for which it acts as receiving office. The available ISAs for US-filed PCT applications are:

  •  IP Australia (Australian Patent Office)
  • European Patent Office (EPO)
  • Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO)
  • Rospatent (Russian Patent Office)
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

So which factors might you want to consider when choosing which ISA will search your PCT application?

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Foreign Filing Roundup

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Good morning, readers. We hope everyone had a great first week of fall 2014. Here are the latest updates in foreign patent filing news:

  • The 54th Series of meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO is currently taking place until September 30th.
  • There is no Oktoberfest without patents and innovation! Read on to see how this Munich festival is truly a showcase for patented technology. 
  • The USPTO and KIPO announced a major cooperation treaty this week, designed to improve that patent granting process through streamlined access to patent documentation. 
  • inovia news: WIPO’s PCT September newsletter is out! We’ve recapped the highlights for you here

Have a great weekend and enjoy this spectacular weather! See you back here next week.