Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thomson Reuters Issues 2009 Patent Focus Report

Each year, Thomson Reuters issues an annual report on patenting issues at the world’s major issuing authorities, to "take a look at the stories behind the statistics." This year's report has some interesting findings, especially in China.

CHINA

One of the big stories for 2008 was the emergence of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, a telecom company based in Shenzhen, as the top PCT filer (1,737), placing it ahead of Panasonic (1,729) and Philips (1,551). Overall, Chinese companies accounted for 6,089 applications via the PCT, a rise of over 11 per cent on the previous year.

SIPO received 716,377 patent applications between January and the end of November 2008, 613,922 of which came from Chinese entities. However, the vast majority of applications received by SIPO relate to non-examined utility model and design patent applications. Invention patent applications, which are examined, came in at 255,797 for the first 11 months of 2008.

With regard to litigation, the report states that "[t]here are now thought to be more patent disputes in China each year than in the United States, and although most patent litigation in China is between local businesses, foreign companies are increasingly involved in disputes. In 2005, for example, 268 non-Chinese companies were involved in Chinese patent litigation, a jump of over 75 per cent on the 2004 figure."

EUROPE

According to its most recent annual report, the EPO received 140,700 applications during 2007, up just over 3 per cent on the year before. By contrast, the number of patents granted fell from 62,800 in 2006 to 54,700. This equates to an allowance rate of around 51 per cent. In 2004, 59 per cent of examined patent applications were granted. As with the other two offices of the Trilateral Authorities (the Japan Patent Office and the US Patent and Trademark Office), statistically it is harder to get a patent from the EPO than it has ever been before.

JAPAN

In October 2008, the JPO introduced a trial of what it termed “a super accelerated examination” system. The JPO currently gets around 8,500 annual applications under its accelerated program and expects that around 15 per cent of these will become applications under the super accelerated scheme.

According to the JPO’s annual report, the total number of applications submitted to the office fell during 2007 to stand at 396,291. This is the second year in a row in which applications declined and they now stand at their lowest level since the mid-1990s. The grant rate at the office rose very slightly, to stand at 48.9 per cent as compared to 48.5 per cent in 2006.

UNITED STATES

The allowance rates continue to fall - the number of patent grants for 2008 fell to below 50 per cent of applications examined, to stand at 47.3 per cent. This compares to 54 per cent in fiscal year 2007 and 72 per cent in 2000. Statistically, it is now harder to obtain patent protection from the USPTO than it is either from the JPO or EPO.

Read the complete report here (link)

2 Comentários:

Patentability said...

I don't like seeing the patent rates in the U.S. dropping like there are right now. I hope that lots of innovative people bring more patents to the table this year! A great, new research tool for inventors is http://www.patentability.com. It's a great site that is user-friendly and effective!

Sam

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