This service, in principle, publishes raw data as collected. For some indicators, we also estimate world totals. In such case, the figures from countries may not add up to the total. For some indicators, we further provide group totals by regions or by income groups according to the latest classification from the World Bank. We do not provide world/regional totals if there is no sufficient number of reporting offices.
Users can select the following reporting types for indicators relating to “Patent”, “Trademark”, “Industrial Design” and “Utility Model”:
- 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
- Count by applicant’s origin and by filing office
We use residence of the first-named applicant as the origin of the application. Co-applicants are not considered.
These reporting types offer different perspective for users to view data. 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 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 from their member state as one resident filing plus one abroad filing; one from non-member as one abroad filing only.
By contrast, 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.
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 is birth of 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, and sum up all portions to compile the indicators.
Users can select the following 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.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
1. What do reporting types "by office" and "by origin" mean?
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.
2. How do you determine the origin of an application?
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.
3. How do you compile indicators by origin? Are they complete?
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".
4. When I compare indicators by "total count by applicant’s origin" with those by "Count by applicant’s origin and by filing office", the results do not match. Why?
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 applicant’s origin and by filing office" 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 origin".
5. I see no data for some countries. Does it mean zero or missing data?
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.
6. When I add up results for all countries, the total does not match the world total. Why?
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.
7. Why do results for some indicators change from time to time?
There are two 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 indicators by technology and patent family indicators. So those indicators may change.
8. What is a WIPO patent family?
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.
9. What is a "foreign-oriented" patent 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 count when determining whether a patent family is foreign-oriented or not.
10. What is the difference between count of trademarks and count of classes in trademarks?
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.
11. What is the difference between count of design applications and count of designs?
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.