China drives the growth in worldwide IP filings

Beijing – China is driving the growth in filings of intellectual property right applications worldwide, with the highest application volume for various IP rights in 2017, according to a report released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The applications include those for patents, trademarks, industrial designs, and other IP rights. According to WIPOs annual World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report, 3.17 million global patent applications were filed in 2017, up 5.8 percent year on year, marking the eighth straight year of growth. The number of trademark applications grew by 30 percent to 12.39 million, while the number of industrial design applications reached 1.24 million.

According to WIPO, Chinese innovators was a leading factor behind the growth in filings for patents, trademarks, and industrial designs, as the report showed that China recorded the highest application volume for each of these IP rights.

China’s IP office received the highest number of patent applications in 2017, a record total of 1.38 million, followed by the U.S. (607,000), Japan (318,000), South Korea (205,000), and the European Patent Office (167,000). These top five offices account for 84.5 percent of the world’s total recorded patent applications.

Asia has strengthened its position as the region with most patent filings, with Asian offices receiving 65 percent of all applications filed last year, up from 50 percent in 2007.

The IP office of China also had the highest volume of filing activity with an application class count of around 5.7 million, followed by the U.S. (613,921), Japan (560,269), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (371,508), and Iran (358,353).

The number of China’s industrial designs applications represents 50.6 percent of all industrial design applications filed worldwide. While the number of trademark applications by Chinese innovators increased by about 55 percent, representing 46 percent of all trademark applications filed.

Owing to the support for high-tech industry and the protection of IP rights, China’s patent applications last year mainly concerned electronic devices and computing and digital telecommunications technologies.

Commenting on China’s continued strong performance, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry noted that China has constructed an IP system in just a few decades and has encouraged homegrown innovation and joined the ranks of the world’s IP leaders, giving more credit to China for now driving worldwide growth in IP filings. (People’s Daily)