world intellectual property indicators report: trademark and industrial design filing activity rose in 2019
world intellectual property indicators report: trademark and industrial design filing activity rose in 2019; patent applications marked rare decline
on december 7, 2020, wipo published its benchmark world worldwide intellectual property indicators (wipi) report. the report showed that trademark and industrial design-creation activity rose in 2019 even as the number of global patent applications dipped slightly on weaker demand in ip powerhouse china.
trademark and industrial design filing activity worldwide increased by 5.9% and 1.3% respectively. a 3% decline in global patent applications, the first fall in a decade, was driven by a drop in filings by chinese residents in 2019.
the wipi's 2019 figures, which pre-date the covid-19 pandemic, underline the long-building growth in demand for the intellectual property tools that incentivize an increasingly global and digital-focused global economy, said wipo director general daren tang.
"the robust use of intellectual property tools shows high levels of innovation and creativity at the end of 2019, just at the onset of the covid-19 pandemic. the pandemic has accelerated long-building trends by fostering the adoption of new technologies and accelerating the digitization of everyday life. because ip is so connected to technology, innovation and digitalization, ip will become even more important to a greater number of countries in the post-covid world."
china’s ip office received 1.4 million patent applications in 2019, more than twice the amount received by authorities in the second-busiest country, the united states (621,453).
filings in china (–9.2%) declined for the first time in 24 years due to a 10.8% drop in resident applications amidst an overall shift in regulations there aimed at optimizing application structures and improving the quality of applications.
offices located in asia received close to two-thirds (65%) of all applications filed worldwide in 2019 – a considerable increase from 50.9% in 2009 – primarily driven by long-term growth in china.
in terms of filing abroad, which is an indication of a desire to expand in new markets, u.s. residents continue to lead with 236,032 equivalent patent applications filed abroad in 2019. china ranks fourth with 84,279 patent applications filed abroad.
patents in force worldwide grew by 7% to reach around 15 million in 2019. the highest number of patents in force was recorded in the u.s. (3.1 million), followed by china (2.7 million) and japan (2.1 million).
an estimated 11.5 million trademark applications covering 15.2 million classes were filed worldwide in 2019. the number of classes specified in applications grew by 5.9% in 2019, marking a 10th successive year of growth. china’s ip office had the highest volume of filing activity with a class count of around 7.8 million. offices located in asia accounted for 70.6% of all trademark filing activity in 2019, up from 38.7% in 2009.
there were an estimated 58.2 million active trademark registrations worldwide in 2019 – up 15.2% on 2018, with 25.2 million in china alone.
an estimated 1.04 million industrial design applications containing 1.36 million designs were filed worldwide in 2019, representing a 1.3% year-on-year increase. china’s ip office received applications containing 711,617 designs in 2019, corresponding to 52.3% of the world total.
offices located in asia accounted for more than two-thirds (68.4%) of all designs in applications filed worldwide in 2019. designs related to furnishings accounted for 9.4% of global filing activity, followed by those related to clothing (8.1%) and to packages and containers (7.3%).
china’s relevant office received 7,834 plant variety applications in 2019, up 36% on 2018. it now accounts for over one-third of the plant variety applications filed worldwide.
in 2019, there were around 55,800 gis in force worldwide. gis are signs used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin, such as gruyère for cheese or tequila for spirits. germany (14,289) reported the largest number of gis in force, followed by china (7,834)
revenue generated by the trade and the educational sectors of the publishing industry of 21 countries amounted to usd 67.3 billion in 2019. online sales generated more than half of total trade sector revenue in sweden (50.1%) and the u.k. (55.2%).