World Intellectual Property Organization

About the WIPO IP Statistics Data Center

WIPO IP Statistics Data Center is an on-line service enabling access to WIPO’s statistical data on intellectual property (IP) activity worldwide. Users can select from a wide range of indicators and view or download the latest available as well as historical data according to their needs.

This service is intended to be a tool for IP professionals, researchers and policymakers worldwide.

Conditions of use

By using WIPO's statistical data, users agree not to republish or commercially re-sell WIPO's statistical datasets.  In addition, when employing WIPO's statistics data in any written work, users shall cite "WIPO Statistics Database" as the source of the data.

Data source

This service is based on the WIPO Statistics Database which contains:

  • data collected from national and regional IP offices;
  • data generated from the international filing and registration systems administered by WIPO;
  • data extracted/compiled from the Patstat database.

We use gross domestic product (GDP) and population data to compile intensity indicators. GDP and population data are taken from the World Development Indicators from the World Bank.

Indicators relating to patent families and patent publications/grants by technology are compiled from the Patstat database. When we receive new release of the Patstat database, we re-compile these indicators. This means that these indicators may change due to newly available data.

We collect data directly from offices through a set of questionnaires we send each year to all IP offices worldwide. The accuracy of data remains under the responsibility of the offices.

PCT system requires that the receiving offices send applications to the International Bureau within one month from their receipt. Therefore, PCT statistics based on filing date may be incomplete for the latest months and data may change when we update the database. We do not show data for the last three months for PCT indicators based on filing date for the purpose of avoiding misinterpretation.

WIPO’s Statistical Data Center covers the following types of indicators: patent, trademark, industrial design, utility model, as well as those under PCT, Madrid and Hague systems. Most indicators relating to patent, trademark, industrial design and utility model cover the period starting from 1980. For PCT, Madrid and Hague systems, we provide data starting from 2004. Data prior to those periods are available on request.

Information on which states are parties to the different WIPO treaties, including their date of accession, is available here for “PCT”, here for “Madrid”, and here for “Hague”. Please note that statistics by origin may include those for nonmembers of these systems, as applicants from nonmember states may under certain circumstances be eligible to file under these treaties.

Abbreviations

  • ARIPO – African Regional Intellectual Property Organization
  • BOIP – Benelux Office for Intellectual Property
  • EAPO – Eurasian Patent Organization
  • EPO – European Patent Office
  • OAPI – African Intellectual Property Organization
  • OHIM – Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market
  • USPTO – United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization

Data description

This service, in principle, publishes raw data as collected. For some indicators, we also estimate world totals. In such case, the world total may be slightly higher than sum of data for all countries. For some indicators, we further provide group totals by regions, using the UN composition of geographical regions, or by income groups according to the latest classification from the World Bank.  We use the residence of the first-named applicant as the origin of the application. Co-applicants are not considered.

Please note that for indicators relating to “PCT”, “Madrid” and “Hague”, missing values can always be equated to zero entries. However, for all other indicators, missing values may be either zero or “truly missing” due to non-submission of data from offices.

Reporting types for indicators relating to patents, trademarks, industrial designs and utility models

  • Total count by filing office;
  • Resident and non-resident count by filing office;
  • Total count by applicant’s origin;
  • Resident and abroad count by applicant’s origin;
  • Count by filing office and by applicant’s origin.

These reporting types offer different perspective for users: 

  • Figures by filling office show where the right owners seek protection, whereas figures by origin show who seek protection. Statistics by both office and origin show actual flow of IP rights between countries.
  • The term "resident" is used for filings made by applicants at their home office. The home office can be a national office and/or a regional office. The resident figures by origin may thus correspond to the sum of filings made at a national and a regional office.
  • The terms "non-resident" and "abroad" both relate to filings in a foreign office. However, we use the term "non-resident" for statistics by office, while use the term "abroad" for statistics by origin. In other words, when an office receives an application filed by a foreigner, it’s a non-resident filing for that office. By contrast, when an applicant files an application at a foreign office, it’s a filing abroad from the applicant’s origin.

When users select reporting types “total count by applicant’s origin” or “resident and abroad count by applicant’s origin”, indicators are based on the concept of “equivalent count”. That is, an application filed at a regional IP office is counted multiple times according to the number of its members. This method applies to all regional offices where the filing has an immediate legal effect in all member states (the Glossary provides additional information).

However, when applicants file at the EPO and ARIPO, they have to make specific designations. Unfortunately, we do not have the information as to how many designations are made. Therefore, for these two offices, it would not be appropriate to assume that one filing will get protection in all jurisdictions. As a compromise, we count one application originating from their member states as one resident filing plus one abroad filing; count one application originating from non-members as one abroad filing only. Note that the equivalent count concept is not used for the following indicators: patent family indicators, resident applications per GDP and population.

When users select other reporting types, the results show actual number of applications or registrations, without multiplication. Consequently, the results based on actual count may not add up to the “total count by applicant’s origin”.

  • If an office does not provide information on applicants’ origin, we only provide total counts without breaking them down into resident and non-resident.  If an office does not provide us with any information, it may have a significant impact on the figures by origin for that country as resident applicants may account for a large proportion of filers at this office.
  • We use the Patstat database to compile indicators relating to patent families and patent applications/grants by technology. Patent families are "first-filing" based. That is, each first filing creates a patent family. Subsequent filings are added to the related families. By this definition, one subsequent filing can belong to multiple families if it claims multiple priorities.
  • For indicators relating to technology, we use the IPC-technology concordance table to assign the technological codes. Since one application normally has several IPC codes, it may belong to different technology. We use fractional counting method in such case. That is, we assign equal portion to different technology for the same application.

Reporting types for indicators relating to "PCT", "Madrid" and "Hague":

  • Yearly statistics
  • Quarterly statistics
  • Monthly statistics

Please note that some indicators are only available on the yearly basis. For PCT indicators based on filing date, the latest months may not be complete due to transmittal delay from receiving offices.  Only data on the international phase of the PCT system are available under “PCT”. The PCT national phase entry data are provided under “Patent” or “Utility model”.

Frequently asked questions

Indicators "by office" show where the filings are made, regardless who filed them. By contrast, indicators "by origin" show who filed those applications, regardless where those applications are filed.

We use the residence of the first-named applicant to determine the origin of an application. When there are multiple applicants, only the first one is considered.

Most offices provide us data breaking down into country of origin. We then group them together to produce indicators by origin. Since there are always offices who don’t supply this information, indicators by origin are never "100% complete". However, since all top offices do supply this information, so we may consider this indicator "largely complete".  If an office does not provide us with any information, it may have a significant impact on the figures by origin for that country as resident applicants may account for a large proportion of filers at this office.

Indicators by "total count by applicant’s origin" are based on "equivalent count" concept, i.e. one filing at a regional office is counted multiple times according to the number of members in that regional office. But the indicators by "Count by filing office and by applicant’s origin" show actual number of filings without multiplier. That’s the reason why the results "by origin" may be slightly higher than those "by office and by origin".  Note that the reporting type “resident and abroad count by applicant’s origin” is also based on the equivalent count concept.

Unfortunately, we cannot distinguish zero from missing data in our database. The missing values can either mean zero or missing data. Users need to make an educated guess.

We estimate world totals for some indicators, taking into account of the fact that some offices did not supply data for some years. When you see the world total is slightly higher than the sum of all countries, it’s an estimate.

There are three reasons why data may change. Firstly, offices may correct their data. When we receive new data, we correct them and publish them. Secondly, some indicators are based on Patstat database. When we receive a new release of that database, we re-compile technology and patent family indicators. So those indicators may change.  Thirdly, statistics based on the international phase of the PCT system may change slightly even several months after filing date due to the normal processing time, potential backlogs or withdrawals.

A WIPO patent family is first-filing based. That is, each first filing (without priority) is the starting point of a family. All subsequent filings are added to the parent family.

"foreign oriented" patent families are those who have at least one member whose filing office is different from the origin of the family (based on the first filings of the family). We do not take PCT receiving offices into account when determining whether a patent family is foreign-oriented or not.

Depending on different legal systems, one trademark application may specify several classes. Technically, that trademark turns into several marks linking to different goods or services. For the reason of international comparability, one should look at the count of classes to counter systemic differences between countries.

Depending on different legal systems, one industrial design application may contain several designs. For the reason of international comparability, one should look at the count of designs to counter systemic differences between countries.

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You are welcome to contact us. We will do our best to find the right answer to your question.

Glossary

Applicant: An individual or other legal entity that files an application for a patent, utility model, trademark or industrial design. There may be more than one applicant in an application. For the IP statistics presented in this report, the first-named applicant is deemed the owner of the application.
Application: The formal request for IP rights at an IP office, which examines the application and decides whether to grant or refuse protection in the jurisdiction concerned. Application also refers to a set of documents submitted to an office by the applicant.
Application abroad: An application filed by a resident of a given country/jurisdiction with a patent office of another country/jurisdiction. For example, a patent application filed by an applicant residing in France with the USPTO is considered an “application abroad” from the perspective of France. “Application abroad” is a concept similar to “non-resident application”, which describes a patent application received by an IP office from an applicant residing in a country represented by another IP office.
Equivalent application: Applications at regional offices are equivalent to multiple applications, one in each of the states member of those offices. To calculate the number of equivalent applications for BOIP, EAPO, OAPI or OHIM data, each application is multiplied by the corresponding number of member states. For EPO and ARIPO data, each application is counted as one application abroad if the applicant does not reside in a member state; or as one resident and one application abroad if the applicant resides in a member state. The equivalent application concept is only used for statistics by country of origin.
Equivalent grant (registration): Grants (registrations) at regional offices are equivalent to multiple grants (registrations), one in each of the states member of those offices. To calculate the number of equivalent grants (registrations) for BOIP, EAPO, OAPI or OHIM data, each grant (registration) is multiplied by the corresponding number of member states. For EPO and ARIPO data, each grant is counted as one grant abroad if the applicant does not reside in a member state; or as one resident and one grant abroad if the applicant resides in a member state. The equivalent application concept is only used for statistics by country of origin.
Foreign-oriented patent families: A patent family having at least one filing office that is different from the office of the applicant’s origin.
Grant: Exclusive IP rights conferred to an applicant by an IP office. For example, patents are granted to applicants (assignees) to make use of and exploit an invention for a limited period of time. The holder of the rights can prevent unauthorized use of the invention.
Hague registration: An international registration filed under the Hague system, which facilitates the acquisition of industrial design rights in multiple jurisdictions. An application for international registration of industrial designs leads to its recording in the International Register and the publication of the registration in the International Designs Bulletin. If the registration is not refused by the IP office of a designated Hague member, it will have the same effect as a registration made in that member’s jurisdiction.
Hague system: The abbreviated form of the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs. This system consists of several international treaties (the London Act, the Hague Act and the Geneva Act). The Hague system makes it possible for an applicant to register up to 100 industrial designs in multiple jurisdictions by filing a single application with the International Bureau of WIPO. It simplifies the process of multinational registration by reducing the requirement to file separate applications with each IP office. The system also simplifies the management of the industrial design, since it is possible to record subsequent changes or to renew the registration through a single procedural step.
Industrial design: Industrial designs are applied to a wide variety of industrial products and handicrafts. They refer to the ornamental or aesthetic aspects of a useful article, including compositions of lines or colors or any three-dimensional forms that give a special appearance to a product or handicraft. The holder of a registered industrial design has exclusive rights against unauthorized copying or imitation of the design by third parties. Industrial design registrations are valid for a limited period. The term of protection is usually 15 years for most jurisdictions. However, differences in legislation do exist, notably in China (which provides for a 10-year term from the application date) and the US (which provides for a 14-year term from the date of registration).
International Patent Classification (IPC): An internationally recognized patent classification system. The IPC’s hierarchical structure consists of sections, classes, subclasses and groups. IPC symbols are assigned according to technical features in patent applications. A patent application can be assigned multiple IPC symbols, as it may relate to multiple technical features.
IP rights in force: IP rights that are currently valid. To remain in force, IP rights must be maintained, usually by paying maintenance (renewal) fees to an IP office at regular intervals. A trademark can be maintained indefinitely by paying renewal fees; however, patents, utility models and industrial designs can only be maintained for a limited number of years.
Madrid registration: An international registration filed under the Madrid system, which facilitates the acquisition of trademark rights in multiple jurisdictions. It is not the same as a trademark registration issued by a national or regional IP office. An international registration, once issued by WIPO, serves as an application at each of the national and regional IP offices designated by the applicant and party to the Madrid system. On the basis of the Madrid international registration, the national or regional IP office decides whether or not to issue a trademark registration that is valid within its jurisdiction.
Madrid system: The abbreviated form of the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, established under the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol and administered by WIPO. The Madrid system makes it possible for an applicant to apply for a trademark registration in a large number of contracting parties by filing a single application at a national or regional IP office party to the system. In addition, it simplifies the process of multinational trademark registration by reducing the requirement to file a separate application with each IP office. The system also streamlines subsequent management of the registration, since it is possible to record changes or to renew the registration through a single procedural step. Registration through the Madrid system does not create an “international” registration of a trademark, and the decision to register or refuse the trademark remains in the hands of the national and/or regional IP office(s). Trademark rights are limited to the jurisdiction of the trademark registration office(s).
Nice Classification: The abbreviated form of the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks under the Nice Agreement. The Nice Classification is divided into 34 classes for goods and 11 for services.
Non-resident application: An application filed with a patent office of a given country/jurisdiction by an applicant residing in another country/jurisdiction. For example, a patent application filed with the USPTO by an applicant residing in France is considered a non-resident application for the USPTO. Non-resident applications are sometimes also referred to as foreign applications. A non-resident grant is a patent granted on the basis of a non-resident application.
Origin: The country of residence (or nationality, in the absence of a valid residence) of the first-named applicant of an IP application. Country of origin is used to determine the origin of the IP application.
Patent: A set of exclusive rights granted by law to applicants for inventions that are new, non-obvious and commercially applicable. It is valid for a limited period of time (generally 20 years), during which patent holders can commercially exploit their inventions on an exclusive basis. In return, applicants are obliged to disclose their inventions to the public in a manner that enables others, skilled in the art, to replicate the invention. The patent system is designed to encourage innovation by providing innovators with time-limited exclusive legal rights, thus enabling innovators to reap the benefits of their innovative activity.
Patent family: A set of interrelated patent applications filed in one or more countries to protect the same or a similar invention.
PCT application: A patent application filed through the WIPO-administered PCT system.
PCT national phase entry: The decision by a PCT applicant to enter the national phase before a national or regional patent office is referred to as national phase entry. It consists of the submission of a written request and payment of fees and must be carried out within 30 months from the priority date of the application (longer time periods are allowed by some offices).
PCT system: The PCT, an international treaty administered by WIPO, facilitates the acquisition of patent rights in a large number of jurisdictions. The PCT system simplifies the process of multiple national patent filings by reducing the requirement to file a separate application in each jurisdiction. However, the decision of whether to grant patent rights remains in the hands of national and regional patent offices, and the patent rights remain limited to the jurisdiction of the patent granting authority. The PCT international application process starts with the international phase, during which an international search and, possibly, a preliminary examination are performed, and concludes with the national phase, during which national and regional patent offices decide on the patentability of an invention according to national law.
Publication date: The date on which an IP application is disclosed to the public. On that date, the subject matter of the application becomes “prior art”.
Registration: Exclusive rights, notably for trademarks and industrial designs, issued to an applicant by an IP office. Registrations are issued to applicants to make use of and exploit trademarks or industrial designs for a limited period of time and, in some cases, particularly in the case of trademarks, can be renewed indefinitely.
Resident application: An application filed with an IP office by an applicant residing in the country/region in which that office has jurisdiction.. For example, an application filed with the JPO by a resident of Japan is considered a resident application for the JPO. Resident applications are sometimes referred to as domestic applications. A resident grant/registration is an IP right issued on the basis of a resident application.
Trademark: A trademark is a distinctive sign, which distinguishes certain goods or services of one undertaking from those produced or provided by other undertakings. The holder of a registered trademark has the legal right to exclusive use of the mark in relation to the products or services for which it is registered. The owner can prevent unauthorized use of the trademark, or a confusingly similar mark, used for goods or services that are identical or similar to the goods and services for which the mark is registered. Unlike patents, trademark registrations can potentially be maintained indefinitely, as long as the trademark holder pays the renewal fees and actually uses the trademark. The procedures for registering trademarks are governed by the rules and regulations of national and regional IP offices. Trademark rights are limited to the jurisdiction of the authority that issues the trademark. Trademarks can be registered by filing an application with the relevant national or regional IP office(s), or by filing an international application through the Madrid system.
Trademark application filed via the Madrid system: An application for international registration of a trademark though the WIPO-administered Madrid system.
Utility model (UM): Like a patent, a UM is a set of rights granted for an invention for a limited period of time, during which UM holders can commercially exploit their inventions on an exclusive basis. The terms and conditions for granting UMs are different from those for “traditional” patents. For example, UMs are issued for a shorter duration (7 to 10 years) and, at most offices, UM applications are granted without substantive examination. The procedures for granting UM rights are governed by the rules and regulations of national IP offices, and rights are limited to the jurisdiction of the issuing authority.

 

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