GENEVA – Two-thirds of the world’s patents were filed in Asia last year, with China topping the list as the main driver in intellectual property growth, according to a World Intellectual Property Indicators report published on Tuesday.
According to the UN-backed organization, 2018 figures set a new record in intellectual property (IP) with 3.3 million patents filed – a 5.2 percent growth on 2017.
A patent is a set of rights that are granted to creators of new products who file an application to avoid plagiarism and so that the patent holder can exploit the product commercially for a period of around 20 years.
Trademark registration totaled 14.3 million, an increase of 15.5 percent on the previous year.
Industrial design filing reached 1.3 million and applications for utility models grew by 21.8 percent with 2.1 million applications.
China continues to dominate with an 11.6 percent growth in the filing of patents, 28.3 percent for trademarks and 12.7 percent for industrial designs.
China now accounts for 46.4 percent of patent filings globally, and over half of global trademark and industrial design activities.
According to the WIPO report, the top 10 countries to file IP activities has remained stable since 2008 when China moved from third position to the top spot by 2011, where it has remained heading the rank since.
The China IP office has presented a sustained growth for the last 23 years.
The United States registered a 1.6 percent slump in patent filings, the first decline since 2009, WIPO said.
But trademark filing did grow in the US by 4.3 percent.
Japan’s patent filing declined by 1.5 percent and trademark registration by 8.6 percent, unlike South Korea which set a 2.5 percent growth in patents and a 14.5 percent increase in trademark filing.
India experienced a boom in trademark filing which grew by 20.9 percent in 2019.
Interestingly, India reported a high number of filings at its IP office by non-residents, 67.5 percent.
In China conversely, 90.4 percent of IP activities were filed by Chinese residents.
Another notable indicator was the United Kingdom’s performance with a 42.4 percent rise in industrial design activities.