GLOBAL intellectual property filings- of patents, trademarks, and designs-reached record levels in 2021 driven largely by increases from Asian countries of India, China, and South Korea according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
The UN agency said that despite the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, this bucked previous economic downturn trends. Strong growth in local patent filings in India (+5.5 per cent), China (+5.5 per cent) and the Republic of Korea (+2.5 per cent) drove the global growth in patent applications in 2021, propelling the share of Asian filings to cross the two-thirds threshold, the report said. Local patenting activity in the US (-1.2 per cent), Japan (-1.7 per cent) and Germany (-3.9 per cent) declined in 2021.
The WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report showed that innovators around the world filed 3.4 million patent applications in 2021, up 3.6 per cent from the previous year with offices in Asia receiving 67.6 per cent of all applications worldwide.
According to WIPO, despite the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, this bucked previous economic downturn trends. “Local patenting activity in the US (-1.2 pc), Japan (-1.7 pc) and Germany (-3.9 pc) declined in 2021,” the report said. Most countries registered increases in trademark filing activity in 2021, with 18.1 million trademark class counts worldwide in 2021, up 5.5 pc on 2020. This growth in registering new brands coincided with a boom in entrepreneurial activity and venture capital deals prompted by the pandemic’s disruptions. Industrial design filing activity rose by 9.2 per cent. The largest growth in designs was also from offices in Asia.
“The latest WIPI data show continued and sustained growth in IP filings, driven largely by increases from Asia, with other regions also trending mostly upward,” said WIPO DG Daren Tang. “IP filing strength during the pandemic showed that people across the world continued to innovate and create despite the economic and social disruptions caused by the pandemic,” he added.
WIPO also noted that the growth in registering new brands coincided with a boom in entrepreneurial activity and venture capital deals that was prompted by the COVID-19 disruption. “Industrial design filing activity rose by 9.2 per cent,” WIPO’s report said, with the largest growth in designs also from Asia.