World Intellectual Property Organization

WIPO Releases Compilation of Recent IP Statistics

Geneva, September 20, 2011
PR/2011/694

WIPO released today an overview of intellectual property (IP) activity in 2009, the last year where full data are available. WIPO IP Facts and Figures 2011PDF, WIPO IP Facts and Figures 1 covers patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs and serves as a quick reference guide for IP statistics gathered from 90 IP offices around the world. It shows that trademark protection – with over 3 million applications filed per year since 2005 – is the most sought-after form of IP globally. The China Trademark Office received a quarter of all trademark applications worldwide2 in 2009. Figures for industrial designs show significant growth rates, also owing to high filing activity in China.

When filings in China are combined with those of India, Japan and the Republic of Korea, these four Asian offices accounted for 37% of total trademark applications. India showed the highest five-year growth (13.5%) from 2005 to 2009, whereas China had one of the highest annual growth rates (20.8%) from 2008 to 2009.

After falling in 2009, international trademark registrations under WIPO’s Madrid system for the international registration of trademarks recuperated some of their losses with an increase in 2010 from about 36,000 to 37,500 (4.5% growth from 2009-10). The Madrid system makes it possible for applicants to register a trademark in a large number of countries by filing a single application at their national or regional IP office that is party to the Madrid system. Statistics for the international trademark system, as well as the international patent and design systems are available for 2010.

In 2009, China accounted for 50% of total industrial design filing activity while growing by 12.3 % from 2008 to 20093. The top 20 offices accounted for 87% of all industrial design applications. Since 2007, use of the WIPO’s Hague system for the international registration of industrial designs has seen rapid growth, doubling from about 1,100 to slightly more than 2,200 registrations. The Hague system allows an applicant to register an industrial design in a large number of countries by filing a single application with WIPO.

The top 10 patent offices accounted for approximately 87% of total patent applications in 2009, with the US, Japan and China filing about 60% of the total. Together, the top 20 offices received 94% of all patent applications.

Between 2008 and 2009, of the top 3 offices, Japan witnessed a 10.8% drop in the number of patent applications received, the US remained almost unchanged, and China saw an increase in applications by 8.5%. Whereas most of the top 20 offices show a drop in applications from 2008 to 2009, about half indicate positive five-year growth.

With respect to international patent filings under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the report shows a decrease in 2009, but a rebound in 2010 to 164,300, slightly higher than 2008 levels. The PCT system facilitates the acquisition of patent rights in a large number of countries by simplifying the process of multiple national patent filings. The PCT eliminates the need to file a separate application in each jurisdiction. 

In an effort to provide policymakers, researchers, and the general public with user-friendly access to IP statistics for individual countries, WIPO is also making available on its website IP statistical country profiles. These profiles provide information on patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs and cover different aspects of IP activity, including incoming and outgoing filings, the share of filings in different technological fields, total patents in force, and the use of international IP systems by applicants. The statistics also associate IP activity relative to a country’s economic performance. For example, users can compare the trend of a country’s total IP filings with that of its gross domestic product (GDP). Furthermore, they indicate the country's global rank for each indicator.

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1 This is the first edition of the “WIPO IP Facts and Figures 2011” and it precedes the more comprehensive “2011 World Intellectual Property Indicators” (WIPI), which will contain more detailed statistical information and national data up to 2010 and will be published at the end of 2011.
2 When correcting for differences between single-class and multi-class filing systems, China still had 2.3 times the trademark filing activity in the second highest country, the United States.
3 IP offices have either a single-design or multiple-design filing system. For simplification purposes, this difference has not been taken into account in this publication.

For further information, please contact the Media Relations Section at WIPO:
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