By - King Stubb & Kasiva on November 15, 2023
In the ever-evolving landscape of intellectual property, the trends in global patent filings serve as a barometer for innovation and economic dynamism. The recently released World Intellectual Property Indicators 2023 provides a detailed and insightful overview of patent activities worldwide in the year 2022.
In the realm of patents, 2022 emerged as a record-breaking year, with innovators from around the world submitting an unprecedented 3.46 million patent applications collectively. This figure marks a 1.7% increase over the previous year, showcasing a sustained growth trend for three consecutive years. The surge is attributed to significant contributions from China, India, South Africa, and the European Patent Office (EPO).
Examining regional dynamics, it is noteworthy that China played a pivotal role in driving the global patent landscape. The National Intellectual Property Administration of China (CNIPA) received anastounding 46.8% of global patent applications in 2022, solidifying its position as a powerhouse in innovation. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the EPO followed suit, collectively accounting for 84.9% of the world’s total patent filings.
The hierarchy of patent offices remained consistent between 2021 and 2022, with CNIPA securing the top spot, followed by the USPTO, JPO, KIPO, and EPO. The continuity in rankings underscores the stability and resilience of these intellectual property offices. Notable movements within the top 20 offices include South Africa, Israel, and Indonesia climbing one spot each, while Italy dropped three places to the 20th position.
Analyzing the long-term trend in global patent applications, a consistent upward trajectory is evident. From around 1 million in 1995 to approximately 2 million by 2010, the numbers reached the 3.5 million mark in 2022. China’s remarkable ascent is striking, with its share of the world total soaring from 27.7% in 2012 to a commanding 46.8% in 2022. However, other offices within the top five experienced a decrease in share, with the USPTO’s share declining from 23% to 17.2% over the past decade.
Resident filings, growing modestly by 1.1% in 2022, contrast with the higher growth rates observed in 2020 (3.2%) and 2021 (3.1%).
This surge in resident filings within China is exceptional, contributing to a significant drop in the global share of non-resident filings. The balance between resident and non-resident filings reveals intriguing patterns, with non-resident filings increasing by 4.7% in 2021 and 3.1% in 2022, after a 2.3% decrease during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The stock of pending patent applications globally rose by a significant 24.9% in 2022, reaching 6.9 million. China’s patent office alone witnessed a doubling of pending applications, surging from 1.3 million in 2021 to approximately 2.6 million in 2022. The growth in pending applications is not uniform, with some offices successfully reducing their stock while others experienced substantial increases.
The report sheds light on gender representation in patents, revealing that women inventors accounted for 17.1% of all inventors listed in published PCT applications in 2022. The proportion of women inventors has steadily increased from 10.6% in 2008 to 17.1% in 2022, indicating positive progress in gender representation.
In the dynamic landscape of global patent filings, 2022 emerged as a pivotal year, with approximately 17.3 million total patents in force across 137 jurisdictions. This marked a 4.1% increase from the previous year, reflecting a sustained growth trajectory. China, securing its position as an innovation powerhouse, boasted the highest number of patents in force, constituting roughly a quarter of the world total. The United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea followed suit in the top jurisdictions. The incremental increases in Japan and the US emphasized a more modest growth pattern.
The longevity of patents is a critical facet, with holders required to pay maintenance or renewal fees to ensure validity. Delving into the data on patents categorized by the year of filing, it is revealed that approximately 39.3% of granted patents remained in force for at least 9 years after filing, underlining the enduring value of intellectual property. Moreover, a noteworthy 17.8% of patents persisted for the full 20-year term, illustrating the commitment to maintaining patent rights over an extended period.
Shifting gears to trademarks, the report notes a substantial decline in trademark applications in 2022, marking a 15.7% decrease with an estimated 11.8 million applications filed worldwide. Chinese applicants, despite filing one-fifth less than in 2021, maintained their position as the world’s most active filers. This decline, the most significant in four decades, is attributed to various factors, including economic slowdowns and changes in filing regulations.
The top offices for trademark filing remained consistent, with China and the US leading the pack. However, notable declines were observed at several offices, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, the UK, China, Italy, and the US. Conversely, Türkiye and Indonesia reported double-digit growth in trademark filing.
Trademark registrations recorded a substantial decline of 15.5% in 2022, with approximately 9.3 million registrations worldwide. Despite this decline, active trademark registrations increased by 9.4% in 2022, reaching an estimated 82.5 million. China, yet again, led the pack with almost 42.7 million active trademark registrations.
In the realm of plant varieties, 2022 marked the seventh consecutive year of growth with 27,260 applications filed worldwide- a notable 8.2% increase from 2021. Once again, China led the charge with 45.3% of the world total, filing 12,357 plant variety applications. The Kingdom of the Netherlands, the U.S., the UK, and France followed suit in the top five origins, showcasing varied growth patterns. While China, the UK, and France experienced robust growth, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the U.S. saw declines of 10.6% and 23.6%, respectively.
In essence, the intricate tapestry of global patent filings in 2022 reveals not just the quantitative aspects of innovation but also the nuanced patterns across industries, regions, and income groups.
Turning attention to industrial designs, 2022 witnessed a 3% decline in worldwide applications after seven years of consistent growth. China, with over half of global design activity, led the rankings, followed by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), Türkiye, the UK, and the Republic of Korea.
In conclusion, the World Intellectual Property Indicators 2023 offers a panoramic view of global intellectual property, unraveling intricate patterns in patent, trademark, and industrial design activities. China’s continued dominance shifts in resident and non-resident dynamics, gender representation in patents, and the complex interplay of global trademark trends paint a rich tapestry of innovation and creativity. As we navigate this intellectual terrain, the data presented provides a compass for policymakers, businesses, and inventors alike, guiding strategic decisions and fostering a deeper understanding of the ever-evolving world of intellectual property.
Patents witnessed a global surge in 2022, reflecting sustained growth over three consecutive years. Innovators worldwide contributed to this trend, with notable impacts from China, India, South Africa, and theEPO. The rise signifies a thriving culture of innovation and intellectual property.
The exceptional growth in resident filings within China played a pivotal role in reshaping the balance between resident and non-resident filings globally. This unique surge contributes to a nuanced understanding of the dynamics driving patent activities, highlighting China’s increasing influence in the intellectual property landscape.
The World Intellectual Property Indicators 2023 revealed that women inventors accounted for 17.1% of all inventors listed in published PCT applications in 2022. This statistic marks progress from 10.6% in 2008. Gender representation in patents offers insights into inclusivity in innovation, showcasing both advancements and areas for continued improvement.