A new report by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) analyzing IP trends in 2008 and 2009 suggests that innovative activity and demand for IP rights dipped during the global economic crisis, but began to recover this year.
As the world economy started to slow sharply in 2008, an estimated 1.91 million patent, 3.3 million trademark, and 660,000 industrial design applications were filed across the world. Compared to 2007, these figures represent a slowdown in the growth of patent and industrial design applications and an actual decline in the number of trademark applications . . . Beyond 2009, there are grounds for optimism as patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system and international trademark registrations filed under the Madrid system have returned to growth.Data on R&D expenditure compiled for the report show that, on average, companies started to reduce their R&D budgets from early 2009 onward. While 2007-08 registered a slowdown in R&D expenditure, 2008-09 showed an actual decrease (-1.7%) in R&D expenditures.
On the patent side of things,
There was considerable growth in demand for energy-related patents – fuel cells, solar, wind and geothermal energy. Patent applications filed under the PCT System for those technologies increased from 584 applications in 2000 to 3,424 applications in 2009.With regard to individual patent office growth rates,
There was a slowdown in the growth of patent grants in 2008. The total number of grants across the world is estimated at 780,000 in 2008, representing a 0.6% increase from 2007. The slowdown is largely explained by a substantial drop in grants at the patent offices of the Republic of Korea (-32.5%). Without the substantial growth of grants in China, there would have been a contraction of total worldwide patent grants in 2008.
Around 6.7 million patents were in force across the world in 2008, representing a 5.3% increase over 2007. Patents in force in China and the Republic of Korea saw double-digit growth at 24% and 10.1%, respectively. Residents of Japan and the US owned around 48% of total patents in force in 2008
China = 8.5% (2009), 18.2% (2008)
EPO = -7.9% (2009), 3.8% (2008)
France = -3.6% (2009), -2.4% (2008)
Germany = -4.5% (2009), 2.3% (2008)
Japan = -10.8% (2009), -1.3% (2008)
Republic of Korea = -5.0% (2009), 1.1% (2008)
Russian Federation = -7.8% (2009), 6.1% (2008)
United Kingdom = -3.9% (2009), -6.5% (2008)
United States of America = 0.0% (2009), 0.0% (2008)
To download the complete 145-page report, plus numerous other statistics, click here (link)
WIPO press release: "Signs of Recovery Emerge after Economic Crisis Hits Innovation & IP Filings" (link)