Which Country Had the Most Patents in 2022?

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.

Innovative Organizations

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.

How Do Patents Encourage Innovation

The Innovation Argument

Imagine a world where ideas weren’t protected. You’d find a host of problems that came from it such as people never getting to profit from their ideas. The problem with that? No one would feel the drive to innovate if there were no reward from doing it. Patents were invented as a way of protecting intellectual property. If you spent decades working on a project, you’d want some rightful compensation for it.

Protecting Ideas

The concept of protecting ideas goes back to July 31, 1790, when Samuel Hopkins was granted a patent for a unique method of producing potash, but some people believe that the idea of protecting ideas could actually hinder innovation—whether that’s true or not depends on opinion. While it makes sense in theory that patents protect innovation and innovation is good for society, the inventor often gets rights over a broad subject matter, which can stifle innovation. The person who has the patent rights will normally have control over it for a 20-year period where they basically have a monopoly on the idea. For example, let’s say that someone was given the rights for a steam-powered train. Only the individual who had the rights to the steam-powered train could innovate with it, or they could face lawsuits in the court. At the end of the patent period, anyone can innovate with the idea.

Difficult to Prove

Almost any CEO working in a business will tell people that his patents are crucial to protecting his business. Economists, on the other hand, have questioned this idea for years. Another problem comes from how the lack of a patent can take the steam out of someone’s engine. For example, a patent gives an individual a reason to develop his ideas further. However, if the patent application gets rejected for whatever reason, the chance of the invention going to the market decrease by as much as 13 percent. The individual could have a great idea, but they give up if they fail to get the idea through the patent process, they sometimes give up earlier than what they should have.

Does This Question Matter?

Asking whether patents are harmful is a kind of idle question because almost every country in the world uses the patent system. In addition, no one has any plans of dismantling the system because it has been highly useful and protected the rights of business owners. However, it is a useful question to wonder what the world might be like without patents. Would it encourage innovation or hinder it?

The Concern in Technology

One of the chief concerns of it coming from the technology sector is the fact that it could block off entire areas for development and research. Let’s say that you have a breast cancer gene patent. It could stop further research from other people developing it. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. People negotiating to be allowed to further develop the idea could hinder the innovation in the field under the wrong circumstances.

Some of the strategies that you will find that people have used as a workaround in the field of biomedicine include:

  • Ignore a broad patent too broad to challenge.
  • Combine the technologies.
  • Redirecting the efforts towards research.
  • Get engaged with licensing.

The one thing that we have to understand is how these ideas aren’t without their share of difficulties.

Adjusting the System

We shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater because the patent system does a great job at protecting people and rewarding those who come up with innovative ideas. However, in the future, we should look at figuring out ways that could help with enhancing innovation through patents.

The patent has become an effective tool for sharing knowledge. In fact, many places like the US, Europe and Japan depend on patent information because it allows them to understand how far technology has come. The idea is that hopefully, it will assist with sparking more valuable ideas. Thomas Edison gives us one historic example of a figure who would visit the patent office as a way of giving him ideas for his own inventions. This could, fact, be a good thing because otherwise, inventors would rightfully guard their inventions secretively, and this could harm innovation.

Jeff Williams is an experienced mechanical engineer and lawyer that consults closely with clients in a strait forward and clear manner. He brings a particular set of strengths and unique perspectives to the firm.

4 Common Patent Mistakes

The United States patent system is arcane and convoluted. Its intricacies are boundless, sometimes leaving even seasoned patent attorneys scratching their heads.

Although the processes for filing a patent application and obtaining an issued patent are complex, it is almost always a worthwhile endeavor. This is because a patent grants the owner the exclusive right to produce and sell their invention.

Unfortunately, many mistakes are commonly made throughout the patent prosecution process. Avoiding these mistakes helps to ensure that your intellectual property gets the protection it deserves.

Let’s examine some of the most common mistakes that are made in connection with patent applications.

Waiting Too Long to File

The process of obtaining patents is time sensitive. Waiting too long to file an application may mean that the inventor entirely misses out on the opportunity to obtain a patent.

The U.S. patent system is a “first to file” system. This means that the first person to file an application for an invention has the right to obtain patent protection. Also in play is the one-year grace period that is available under U.S. law.

This grace period makes it possible for a company or individual inventor to market, sell or otherwise publicly disclose their invention up to one year before they file a patent application. For example, if you announce a new product at a trade show in June of 2021, you’ll need to file a patent application in the U.S. covering that product before June of 2022.

The problem with publicly announcing an invention and filing a patent application subsequently is that someone else might steal your idea. If they are able to file a patent application for your invention before you do, then they may be legally entitled to a patent.

This is bad enough, but here is an additional reason to consider filing a U.S. patent application before public disclosure of your invention. Patent protection may not be available in many foreign countries if your product was publicly announced before a patent application was filed. If you expect to have an overseas market for your product, then it’s smart to get a U.S. patent application filed as one of your first steps.

Forgetting Deadlines

It’s vital that you file a patent application before publicly disclosing your invention, but that’s not the only deadline that it’s necessary to bear in mind.

For instance, examiners at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office minutely examine the claims of each patent application. These claims are compared to the claims of existing patents and patent publications. If the examiner determines that the claims of your patent application are too similar to the claims of an existing patent or publication, then an Office action is issued.

The applicant has an opportunity to respond to these Office actions with amendments and arguments, but it is essential that this is done within the deadlines. When you receive an Office action, pay special attention to the issue date of the document. Typically, you will need to respond to the Office action within two or three months of this date. Extended deadlines are available, but you have to pay increasingly expensive extension fees depending upon when you respond. If you fail to respond to the Office action by the final extended deadline, your patent application will be abandoned.

Another deadline to be aware of is the deadline to file a non-provisional or foreign patent application. If you file a provisional patent application in the U.S., then it is necessary to file a non-provisional patent application within one year of the filing date of the provisional patent application. Similarly, foreign patent applications must be filed within one year of filing a provisional patent application or a non-provisional patent application that does not claim priority to a provisional patent application.

Inaccurate or Vague Descriptions

It’s an unfortunate reality that many patent applications are filed without including sufficient detail. This makes them vulnerable to cancellation or other issues that may make the patent unenforceable. Accordingly, it is imperative that the invention disclosure be as precise and detailed as possible. Accurately describe each component, and ensure that you include drawings that fully illustrate the invention.

If drawings are included as part of the patent application, make certain that you include a brief description of the figures in the specification. This is a requirement of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Failing to Pay Required Fees

When inventors file patent applications without benefit of legal counsel, they frequently forget to pay the necessary fees. Examples of some fees include those that are due upon filing of the application. These include fees for filing, search and examination of the application. Additional fees may be due depending upon the number of claims that are included in the application. Failure to pay the fees within the designated time period will result in the abandonment of the application.

Ask Williams IP Law to Help with Filing Patent Applications

These and other common patent mistakes can be avoided when you work with a qualified intellectual property attorney. Your lawyer will use the invention disclosure that you provide to craft the application’s specification and claims. Thanks to training and experience, he can draft a patent application that provides a meaningful scope of enforceable patent protection.

If you want to make certain that your patent application is timely filed, appropriately detailed and doesn’t become abandoned through a failure to pay required fees, work with the patent prosecution professionals at Williams IP Law. Call us today to set up a complimentary consultation.

Back-to-School Inventions That Were Revolutionary

Back to School

As autumn draws near, thoughts turn to the upcoming school year. One of the most highly anticipated parts of going back to school is the supplies.

Here’s a look at the invention of some of the most common and best-loved school supplies.


Is it possible that Pennsylvania cousins C. Harold Smith and Edwin Binney could have known how popular and timeless their 1903 invention would become?

Of course, this pair of inventors didn’t invent the crayon. That honor belongs to European inventors who created a crayon using a mixture of oil and charcoal. Eventually, pigmented hues would take the place of charcoal, giving artists a rainbow of colors.

The Crayola Crayons that are the staple of every child’s desk were first offered for sale in 1903. Alice Binney, the wife of one of the crayon’s innovators, coined the name “Crayola” from the French word for a stick of chalk “craie” and by shortening the oily word “oleaginous.”

Made from colored pigments and paraffin wax, Crayola Crayons started out with eight colors. Today, there are hundreds of options.


The eraser is an indispensable tool in any classroom, but this technology wasn’t as obvious in earlier centuries as it is today. Throughout the decades, people tried a variety of substances to get rid of mistakes written in ink or lead.

A tablet of wax, some rough sandstone or even a piece of soft bread might have been able to obliterate written mistakes in those days. Then, English engineer Edward Nairne tried to use a piece of natural rubber instead of a morsel of bread. The year was 1770, and Nairne began selling rubbers. However, these rubbers had drawbacks like a peculiar odor and a tendency to crumble during use.

Charles Goodyear refined the process of making rubber erasers in 1839 when he developed a process for vulcanization of rubber. This made erasers more durable, and they became a household staple. Inventor Hymen Lipman later patented his idea for attaching an eraser to the tip of a pencil, though the patent later was invalidated.

Nonetheless, the eraser, whether attached to a pencil or not, remains an indispensable tool in the classroom.

Pencil Sharpener

Long gone are the days of needing a knife or sandpaper to sharpen a pencil. Today, students use a mechanical or electric pencil sharpener. It’s much faster and more convenient, but how did we arrive at this marvelous innovation?

It was Bernard Lassimonne, a French mathematician, who received the first patent for a pencil sharpener. The year was 1828, and the device relied on a block of wood inset with metal files set at 90 degrees to each other. Cumbersome to use, the device never caught on.

However, another Frenchman, Thierry des Estivaux, was waiting in the wings with an improvement. This device consisted of a single blade in a cone-shaped housing. Today, this is called a prism sharpener, and it’s still in use.

One of the most important pencil sharpener improvements was created in the U.S. by John Lee Love, an African-American inventor. While working in Fall River, Massachusetts as a carpenter, Love invented the Love Sharpener, the first portable pencil sharpener. Love was able to patent his invention in 1897.

Lunch Box

Choosing the right lunch box is something of a declaration of the carrier’s personality. However, lunch boxes had a much more utilitarian beginning in the 19th century. Those lunch boxes were plain and functional, most often carried by working men, and usually were constructed of metal to ensure durability even in places like mines and quarries.

It wasn’t until 1902 that lunch boxes designed for kids were introduced. These were often made to resemble small picnic baskets, but it wasn’t long before entrepreneurs saw an opportunity.

One of the earliest of these was Walt Disney. His hugely popular animated character, Mickey Mouse, was the first character to be featured on a lunch box. Soon, Hopalong Cassidy and the Lone Ranger, and later the Beatles, the Partridge Family and the Harlem Globetrotters, were showing up on lunch boxes everywhere.

Today, metal lunch boxes are rare as most are now manufactured from molded plastic.


Sometimes also called liquid paper, typist Bette Nesmith Graham invented White-Out in 1956. Initially, the substance consisted of tempera paint that was run through Graham’s kitchen blender. She began distributing bottles of her “Mistake Out” to her colleagues.

Two years later, Graham founded the Mistake Out Company, still working in her kitchen and garage. The venture finally became a full-time one, and Graham sold the company to the Gillette Corporation in 1979.

Whether your invention belongs in the classroom, the factory or the operating room, it’s wise to protect it with a patent. Speak with the IP professionals at Williams IP Law to learn more about how to protect your innovation.

Strange Inventions of April Fool’s Day

This year’s April Fool’s Day is different than most. With most of the country on lockdown, it’s gotten far more difficult to play a prank on those who are nearest and dearest.

With a little luck, next year the country can get back to its usual first of April shenanigans. Until then, here’s a lighthearted look at some of the weirdest invention ideas ever to cross the desks at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office … or did they?


Who wouldn’t want to be able to smell the things that they are seeing on their television? That appears to have been the inspiration behind the Smellovision. Ostensibly created by a professor at London University around 1965, the invention was introduced on BBC TV. The inventor claimed that the technology would allow viewers to smell things like coffee and onions when they appeared on the screen.

Advising viewers to stand some six feet away from their television and sniff to get the best results, the inventor asked that people call in before noon the following day to report whether or not they had been able to smell anything.

Fortunately or unfortunately, this “invention” was really just an experiment dealing with the power of suggestion. Although many people claimed to have actually smelled the items presented on BBC TV, the reality is that we are still waiting for someone to invent a real Smellovision.

The Kodak EyeCamera 4.1

When inventors at the Kodak company proposed an idea for eye glasses that had a camera lens attached, the idea seemed like an outlandish one. While the advertisements for the product didn’t exactly promise X-ray vision, they certainly did make some claims that were difficult to believe. However, what was even worse was the appearance of the product, which was effectively a pair of eyeglasses with an actual camera lens occupying one side.

This was only an April Fool’s joke, but similar technology for facial recognition that is embedded in eyeglasses exists today.

Teleportation Machine

In 2013, the University of Michigan College of Engineering revealed the development of a working teleportation machine. Professor Xavier Vlad released a video demonstrating the teleportation of a key from one location to another.

Unfortunately, Vlad was later forced to admit that this video was produced in the name of good fun rather than scientific advancement.

A Clutter-Vaporizing Smartphone App

Are you ever bothered by the sheer amount of stuff that’s cluttering up your house? Are you embarrassed to invite people over for fear that they might think you’re a hoarder?

If so, then you need this app from Houzz that vaporizes clutter with the click of a button on your smartphone. Unfortunately, this one is prank from 2017.

Invisible Glasses

This is the invention for the person who hates to wear glasses and contacts but still requires vision correction. GlassesUSA.com came up with the idea for TruSkin Invisible Glasses as an April Fool’s joke a few years ago. The product was advertised on their website with enough technical language and jargon to make it sound really convincing. How many people fell for this clever ruse?

A Drone-Powered Hologram that Attends Meetings for You

Have you ever wished that you could attend a meeting without having to actually be there? If so, then this one is for you. This 2017 prank advertising Prysm Avatar made some pretty outlandish claims, but it’s a cinch that there were some tech-loving people who fell hard for the idea of combining drones with holograms.

If you have a real invention that you would like to protect with a patent, feel free to contact us at any time. We are always ready to review new ideas and go over all of the possibilities that are available for protecting your intellectual property.

Patents issued for 2014 is 300,000.

Oct 2, 2014

300,000 patents issued for first time in a fiscal year. Over the last few decades the number of patents issued at the USPTO has been showing a general trend upward. However the filings have also been increasing, at times more quickly then issuances. This has led to the extreme backlog of patents waiting examination. Over the last 4 years the USPTO has made some considerable steps to decrease the backlog. As seen in the chart on the link, more allowances have been issued. There is still a lot of work to do to get the backlog to a reasonable level but at least progress is being made.

If you are wondering how long you have to wait until the patent is examined, the last I recall was about 19-20 months on average. Total pendency is around 33 months. Long time, I know. It is getting better.


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