Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thomson Reuters Publishes New Study on Patents and Innovation

Thomson Reuters recently published two issues of World IPToday, analyzing global patent activity and technology innovations for2007. The first report, "World IP Today: A Thomson Reuters Report On Global Patent Activity in2007" highlights patent output from the G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany,Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) plus Chinaand South Korea. The findings indicate:

• Global patent activity has grown by 21% between 2003 and 2006, with 2007 shaping up as another year of growth for patents.

• Japan is still the world’s leading filer of patents, but continues to decline slowly. Its lead over the U.S. and China is eroding as their patenting activity increases.

• Academic innovations are at their highest ratio in China and Russia where they represent nearly 25% of total patenting activity.

• South Korea safeguards more inventions worldwide than ever before, while the U.S. has greatly
decreased the number of patents it files across the key patent regions.

To download a copy of the report, click here.

The second report, World IP Today: A Thomson Reuters Report On Global Technology Innovationsin 2007, reviews technology innovations developing globally in 2007, highlighting tri-lateral inventions or inventions that have been filed in theU.S., Europe and Japan. Among the key findings:

• Four areas of technology are truly exemplary in protecting high volumes of inventions: consumer electronics, computing, telecommunications and entertainment and business services technology.

• Protection for computing inventions in the three largest markets, Japan, the U.S. and Europe, has been more prevalent than in other technology sectors.

• Innovation within the computing industry is far more evenly distributed between countries than with other technologies.

• Of the top ten patent assignees based on innovations filed in the United States, Europe and Japan during 2007, most are from Japan.

• When the technology produced by the top ten patentees were further analyzed, some
interesting changes were found in the volumes between 2001 and 2007. Specifically, there has been a significant drop in innovation within the industrial and audio/visual and data recording sectors, as well as a dramatic fall in the semiconductors field which decreased by 26% between 2001 and 2007.

One interesting note is that patenting in the computer industry "is far more evenly distributed between the countries than with other technologies." Notes the report:

Here, Japan and the U.S. comprise only about 40%, whereas in other disciplines these two countries normally hold about 60% of the global patenting. This shows that generally patenting organizations feel that protecting computing inventions in the three largest markets, Japan, the U.S. and Europe, is much more important for innovation within computing than in other technology sectors.
Also, the report tabulates the top ten patent assignees based on innovations filed in the U.S., the EU and Japan during 2007. The "top ten" list includes:

(1) Konink Philips Electronics NV
(2) Matsushita Electric Ind. Co. Ltd.
(3) Sony Corp.
(4) Samsung Heavy Ind. Co. Ltd.
(5) Canon KK
(6) General Electric Co.
(7) 3M Innovative Properties Co.
(8) Bayer AG
(9) Hitachi Ltd.
(10) Siemens AG

Download a copy of the report here.

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