World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated every year on April 26. The global campaign offers a unique annual opportunity to join with others around the globe to celebrate inventors and creators worldwide and explore how IP (Intellectual Property) contributes to a thriving music and arts scene and drives the technological innovation that helps shape our world.
In 2023, we celebrate the “can do” attitude of women inventors, creators and entrepreneurs around the world and their ground-breaking work. Women in all regions are shaping the world through their imagination, ingenuity and hard work, but often face significant challenges in accessing the knowledge, skills, resources and support they need to thrive.
Women everywhere are driving scientific breakthroughs, setting new creative trends, building businesses and transforming our world. Women bring new perspectives and talents to the table. But there is a problem! Too few women are participating in the IP system. That means too few women are benefitting from IP. And when women lose out, we all lose out. So, we need to encourage more women to use the IP system to protect and add value to their work. That way, we can develop more and better technologies that work for everyone, establish more thriving woman-led businesses, support economic recovery and build back better.
Imagine what we can achieve… with more women involved in the business of innovation and creativity. When innovation, creativity and business are inclusive and embrace new ideas and perspectives, we all benefit. Diversity is our strength. Everyone, everywhere, can use IP rights to protect their technology, brands, and creativity. Women make up nearly half the global population. They represent a huge pool of talent. We all gain from actively encouraging women to use the IP system. World Intellectual Property Day 2023 is an opportunity to celebrate all talented women around the world. Let’s work towards gender parity in IP and unleash the ingenuity and creativity of women and girls everywhere. Together, we can build a better tomorrow.
According to WIPO Statistics Database, in February 2023, patent filings worldwide grew by 3.6 per cent in 2021. Trademark and industrial design filing activity grew by 5.5per cent and 9.2per cent, respectively. Patent filings around the world exceeded 3.4 million, trademark filing activity totalled 18.1 million, and industrial design filing activity amounted to 1.5 million.
Applications for utility models – a special form of patent right – dropped by 2.5 per cent to 2.9 million applications.
More than 85 per cent of all patent filings in 2021 occurred in the IP offices of China, the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the EPO. China accounted for 46.6per cent of the world total. In 2021, 65.4 per cent of all trademark filing activity – measured in class counts – occurred at the IP offices of China, the US, Iran, the EUIPO and India. China alone accounted for more than 52.1per cent of global trademark filing activity, primarily from Chinese residents. Around 1.5 million designs were contained in applications filed in 2021. Almost 75per cent of these were received by the IP offices of China, the EUIPO, the UK, the Republic of Korea and Türkiye, with China alone receiving 53.2% of the world total.
In 2021, China’s IP office received around 1.59 million patent applications. It was followed by the offices of the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the European Patent Office. The top 10 offices accounted for 91.6per cent of the world total in 2021. Indian IP office received 61,569 applications in 2021 as against 56,771 applications in 2020, thereby showing a growth of 8.5per cent. In 2021, China’s IP office received applications in which about 9.5 million classes were specified (class count). It was followed by the US, Iran, the EUIPO and India.
The top 10 offices accounted for 76.6 per cent of the world total in 2021. An estimated 278,100 PCT international applications were filed in 2022, up 0.3per cent on 2021, maintaining an upward trend since 2010.
Applicants from China filed the most PCT applications. The US, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Germany completed the list of the top five origins. The top 10 countries accounted for 88.6per cent of total applications in 2022. The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing an “international” patent application. Such an application may be filed by anyone who is a national or resident of a PCT Contracting State. India is struggling to find its place in the top ten countries. Around 69,000 Madrid international applications were filed in 2022, a sharp drop of 6.1per cent in 2021. The biggest users of the Madrid System were applicants from the US, Germany and China. The top 10 countries accounted for 70per cent of total applications in 2022. India is yet to find its place in the top ten countries. In 2021, the IP office of China received applications containing more than 805,700 designs. It was followed by the EUIPO, the UK, the Republic of Korea and Turkiye. The top 10 offices account for 87.1per cent of the world total in 2021.
Applicants from China and the US filed mostly in computer technology. Japan and Germany filed mostly in electrical machinery, and the Republic of Korea in digital communication. Research and technology remained the top sector in 2022 for all top five origins. Around 25,040 designs in Hague applications were filed in 2022, which grew strongly by 11.3 per cent in 2021. The biggest users of the Hague System were applicants based in Germany, followed by those in China and Italy. The top 10 countries accounted for 80.9per cent of total designs in Hague applications in 2022.
China’s Huawei Technologies remained the top filer of PCT international applications in 2022. It was followed by Samsung Electronics from the Republic of Korea, Qualcomm from the US, Mitsubishi Electric of Japan, and Ericsson of Sweden. Among the top 10 users, eight were located in North-East Asia. Indian companies are struggling hard to make their place in the world’s top filer of PCT international applications. In 2022, L’Oreal of France remained the top user of the Madrid System, followed by Novartis of Switzerland, Glaxo Group from the UK, Euro Games Technology from Bulgaria, and Hyundai Motors from the Republic of Korea. No Indian company could make their place in the top ten countries of the world. Applicants from Germany filed most in transport, while those from China filed most in the field of ICT and audiovisual. The textiles and accessories sector accounted for the largest share for Italy. US applicants filed most in the field of packaging, and Switzerland filed most in the field of tools and machines.
There is no question that intellectual property statistics are essential to understanding the nation’s innovation and development direction. The figures can tell us how well the country is doing with respect to the world’s figures.