The WIPO 2009 Report – Interesting Patent Statistics & What Do They Imply To Your IP Intelligence Requirements

September 18th 2009 marked the end of a two day international symposium for IP heads by WIPO. Based on the 2009 World Intellectual Property Indicators report by WIPO which was also recently released we can only guess there were a number of important issues to discuss including the impact of the global economic crisis and recession on the filing of new patents across patent offices around the world. Though the report doesn’t  indicate exact figures, it does mention there was a decrease in the total number of patents filed for the year 2008 although over 760,000 patents were issued during the year and 1.85 million patents filed. Surprisingly, ASIA was more resilient and has been seeing steady growth in South Korea and China which grew 23.9%.

The patent statistics within the report create an insight into the global trends in terms of innovation and highlight several interesting facts around patent activity around the world. This information is particularly interesting for us at Patent iNSIGHT Pro since we work with patent data analysispatent reports and statistics every day. These are the kind of findings which give businesses and innovators the insight needed to know what is going on around the world of intellectual property. It helps draw visible conclusions based on analyzing thousands and even millions of patents and present the findings in a simple easy to understand reports and graphs. Each finding implies something  useful for some business or innovator around the world based on their field or business.  On their own, there are plenty of interesting facts published in this year’s report which you can read here. As the name of the report suggests, the value lies in what the findings of the data analysisindicates and what it implies to your business.  Some of the interesting statistics published in the 2009 WIPO report with regards to patents include:

“The five largest patent offices (China, European Patent Office, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America) accounted for 69% of total resident filings and 81.5% of non-resident filings in 2007. The high ratio of non-resident filings compared to resident filings is partly due to the fact that all patent filings at the EPO are considered as non-resident filings.

In 2007, the largest number of resident filings originated from Japan, the United States of America, China and the Republic of Korea. Between 2003 and 2007, resident filings of Japan declined by 1.8% per year. In contrast, resident filings of China and the Republic of Korea grew by 28.1% and 9.3% respectively.

There has been a steady increase in the total number of patent families during the past 15 years. The total number of patent families (based on first filing date) in 2006 amounted to 946,498, representing an 8% increase from the previous year.

During the period 2002-2005, patent applications in the fields of computer technology, telecommunications and audio-visual technology had strong growth, with the annualized growth rate surpassing 6%. In contrast, patent applications in the field of biotechnology have gradually decreased over the same period.

Medical technology accounted for the largest share of foreign-oriented patent families for Australia, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The largest number of foreign-oriented families originating from France and Germany were in the field of transport.

In the field of telecommunications, applicants from Finland, Sweden, Republic of Korea and China have an above average concentration of foreign-oriented patent families. Applicants from Singapore and the Republic of Korea have a high concentration of foreign-oriented patent families in semiconductors. Applicants from European countries have an above-average concentration in the transport and engines, pumps and turbines fields.

For the first time, a Chinese company (Huawei Technology) topped the list of applicants with the highest number of PCT filings. Panasonic Corporation (Japan) and Philips (Netherlands) were ranked second and third. US universities dominated the list of top PCT applicants for the university sector. The University of California filed 345 PCT applications. Tokyo, Seoul National, Imperial College and Osaka are the four non-US universities in the top 20 list.

All these findings may be viewed to imply something to various businesses and innovators.  To a business located just about anywhere in the world which is looking to protect their IP interests in markets around the world the first finding on the offices with the most non-resident patent filings may imply that these five are top priorities for filing new patents going by the general trend of others. Based on this report they may want to initially file patent applications within these markets to start off with and then review the other countries which accept less than 20% of the total applications.

Similarly, a business or innovator working within the telecommunications technology space, may want to first protect their IP in countries like Finland, Sweden, Korea and China being above average concentration of foreign-oriented patent families. The same report also implies that there could be a much greater potential for licensing patents within these countries for anyone holding patents for telecommunications technology and displays revenue opportunities in these countries for their innovations.

The WIPO database holds a wealth of information which could be extremely valuable for smarter well informed decision making for businesses. This particular report shed some light on what is going in general with IP around the world. A macro view so to speak but there is so much more the data can tell with regards to highly specific areas of interest. With the right analysis software tools you can look into useful facts that pertain directly to your area of interest and gather intelligence that helps make better decisions. The database of over 63 million patents which are already in force around the world is your ocean of data to explore. It’s up to each one to discover what are the indicators they would like to track based on their IP intelligence needs