A recent report from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) says that the number of patent and trade mark applications around the globe reached a new record in 2014.  Patent applications increased by 4.5% from the previous year, while trade mark applications rose by 6% over the same period.

Top Jurisdictions

According to the report, the largest number of applications was filed in China, which saw over 900,000 patent applications alone over the year – an increase of 12.5%.  The next four most popular jurisdictions were the US, Japan, Korea and the European Patent Office.  It is likely that when data for 2015 is collected, China will break the one million barrier for patent filings – something that no other intellectual property office has achieved to date.

Similarly, China was the recipient of 2.2 million trade mark applications in 2014 and, although further down the list of the top 20 intellectual property offices, growing economies saw an increase in trade mark applications  – with filings in India rising by 15.4% and in Mexico by 10.8%.

Most Active Business Sectors

For patent applications, computer technology was the source of the largest number of applications worldwide, with electrical machinery, measurement, and digital communication next in line. According to the WIPO data, computer technology and digital communication have been the two fastest-growing technological fields in the past 20 years.

In the trade marks arena, the greatest number of applications was in the advertising and business management sectors, followed by the clothing industry, and then by scientific, photographic, measuring instruments, recording equipment, computers and software.

“Demand for IP rights continued to grow around the globe in 2014,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.  “This underscores the central role that new technology and brand recognition play in determining success in today’s marketplace.  It also highlights the important task that falls to IP offices in maintaining quality when examining IP applications.”

Patent and Trade Mark Advice from SH&P

At Stevens Hewlett & Perkins, our patent and trade mark attorneys have the experience and knowledge to help you apply for patent and trade mark protection in the UK and overseas.  Your first consultation with us is completely free, and our advice is tailored to match your ambitions and plans for your business or organisation.  To find out more, make an appointment with us today.