A World of Inventions
Every once in a while, an inventor has a truly world-changing idea. This may be the beginning for an entirely new product or a revolutionary improvement on an existing product. Either way, smart inventors begin pursuing protection for their intellectual property at the earliest opportunity.
According to recent statistics, record-breaking numbers of patent applications were filed in 2021 and 2022. Filing for trademarks and designs also were at all-time highs during this period. The upshot is that people and companies are understanding better than ever how critical it is to seek legal protection for their best innovations.
If you or your organization is developing the next great product, then the time to take action is now. Do what other inventors around the world are doing by meeting with a knowledgeable intellectual property attorney.
Did the Pandemic Spur Innovation?
COVID-19 may have had a detrimental effect on the world’s economy, but entrepreneurs and creative minds across the globe took advantage of the opportunity to create new products.
The World Intellectual Property Organization, also known as WIPO, reports the filing in 2021 of almost 3.5 million patent applications. This total represents the largest number of patent application filings ever in a single year.
According to the same WIPO report, approximately one million patent applications were filed in 1995, and that number had doubled by 2010. By 2016, in excess of three million patent applications were filed in jurisdictions around the globe.
When it comes to the totals published in 2021, it’s clear that China came out on top with nearly 1.6 million patent application filings. The U.S. filed the second highest number of patent applications at 590,000. Japan was in third place with 289,000 applications, and the Republic of Korea trailed the third-place finisher slightly with a total of 237,000.
Asia: The Patent Filing Hotspot
WIPO also compared patent filing statistics between 2011 and 2021. The findings indicate that Asia is a particular hotspot for patent filings. China and India have both seen enormous growth in this metric.
For example, 54.6 percent of world patent filings in 2011 took place in an Asian country. By 2021, that percentage had risen to 67.6 percent.
Compare that growth with the reduced percentages of patent filings in North America and Europe. North America boasted one quarter of all patent filings in the world in 2011, but by 2021, that number had shrunk to 18.5 percent of all patent filings. Europe, which accounted for 15.5 percent of patent filings in 2011, only mustered a 10.5 percent in 2021.
Overall, the number of worldwide patent filings increased in that ten-year period, which translated to the grant of 1.7 million patents in 2021. That represents 10 percent annual growth, which is the biggest increase in the decade.
Who’s Using the PCT System?
Many countries participate in the PCT system for filing international patent applications. WIPO estimates that 278,100 such applications were filed in 2022. That figure is 0.3 percent higher than the previous year, extending a trend that began in 2010.
Once again, it is Chinese applicants who are using the PCT system the most. They filed 70,015 PCT applications in 2022, showing a 0.6 percent growth over the prior year.
United States applicants were in second place with 59,056 total PCT filings. This was actually a 0.6 percent loss over filings from 2021. Japan, which was in third place, saw minimal growth of 0.1 percent over the prior year with 50,345 PCT filings.
Coming in at fourth place with 22,012 filings, the Republic of Korea actually saw tremendous 6.2-percent growth over 2021 filings. Rounding out the top ten are Germany, France, the UK, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands. Of course, other countries use the PCT system as well, but the top ten countries account for 88.6 percent of all PCT applications in 2022.
Popular Patent Subject Matter
According to WIPO’s findings, computer technology was the subject matter of the vast majority of patent filings in 2022. Both China and the US filed more patent applications centered around computer technology than any other subject matter.
Coming in at second place for Chinese patent applications was digital communication while third place was electrical machinery, apparatus and energy.
For the US, medical technology patent applications were in second place with digital communication in third.
WIPO even breaks down its statistics to discover which companies are filing the most patent applications around the world. Unsurprisingly, a Chinese firm, Huawei Technologies Co., LTD., is in first place with 7,689 patent application filings in 2021.
Samsung, a Republic of Korea company, is a distant second with 4,387 filings while US concern Qualcomm Incorporated is in third place with 3,855 filings.
Other organizations that made the list include Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson in Sweden, Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp., LTD of China and LG Electronics Inc. of the Republic of Korea.
Protect Your Next Great Idea
You can put your creative ideas to work when you pursue protection for your intellectual property. Whether you are seeking only a US patent or need to protect your innovation around the globe, turn to Williams IP Law.
At the Law Office of Jeff Williams, we support individual inventors as well as major organizations that need to protect their IP on a global scale. Schedule a complimentary consultation today to learn more about pursing protection for your most innovative ideas.