Statistics you need to know: 2012 WIPO IP Facts and Figures

The 2012 edition of WIPO’s IP Facts and Figures was released this week. IP Facts and Figures is a yearly favorite of intellectual property statheads and people otherwise interested in the worldwide trends for patent, utility model, trademark, and design filings. Despite being named “2012,” it’s important to understand that many of the statistics in the report aren’t up to the minute–”most national and regional IP office statistics refer to 2010.” Other data, such as WIPO generated data (PCT, Madrid, and Hague data) is up to date through 2011. The IP Facts and Figures report is part of a broader set of statistics available from WIPO at their IP Statistics page. All credit for facts in this blog post is attributed to WIPO.

Today we’ll look at an overview of the 2012 WIPO IP Facts and Figures report, showing you some interesting statistics and insights that you need to know!


Trademark, patent, industrial design, and utility model applications all increased from 2009 to 2010. This comes after trademark and patent filings were down between 2008 and 2009. This confirms many of the other individual statistics we’ve seen in the past year or two: 2009 was a year for decreased filings, but 2010 saw a quick return to the previously growing trend.

application trend

2009 was a dip, but 2010 rebounded in all filing areas.

Utility model filings are overwhelmingly filed by domestic applicants (98%) to their home IP office. Patents, on the other hand, have only a 62% domestic applicant share. This points to a more connected global patent application demand, as well as the fact that utility models are only available in certain regions (notably NOT in the US). Asia, as a region, has by far the highest percentage of utility model filings as a percentage of all IP applications (and the same can be said for industrial designs).

share of applications

This chart shows the distribution of the various IP applications by region. Asia is very unique compared to the other regions, with more utility model and industrial design filings as a percentage of total applications.

The top 5 receiving offices for patent applications in 2010 are as follows:
1. United States
2. China
3. Japan
4. Republic of Korea
5. European Patent Office

China dominates the field with a 24.3% growth in applications from 2009 to 2010. The only other two offices with double digit growth were the European Patent Office (12.2%) and the Russian Federation (10.2%).

PCT filings continued to see accelerated growth in 2011, with a 10.7% increase in 2010 (after a 5.7% growth in 2010). The top five PCT applicants in order were ZTE, Panasonic, Huawei, Sharp, and Robert Bosch.

By IPC classification for patent applications in 2010, the following technologies were represented as such:

33.7% Electrical engineering
22.3% Chemistry
21.4% Mechanical engineering
14.9% Instruments
7.7% Other

applications by IPC group

Electrical engineering saw the greatest share of patent application classifications in 2010.

If you found these statistics to be interesting (and want to know a lot more about trademarks and industrial designs especially), I highly recommend you check out the full report in PDF form.

What’s your big take-away from these facts and figures? Let us know in the comments below!

Patent Searches from Landon IP

This post was contributed by Intellogist Team member Chris Jagalla. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.

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2 Responses

  1. [...] 2. IP Statistics – Users can access this data through the WIPO GOLD portal or from the main home page (under the Resources drop-down menu). The IP Statistics page allows users to access statistics on various types of IP (patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs, plant varieties, and microorganisms) and statistics from international IP systems administered by WIPO (PCT, Madrid, and Hague). The main IP Statistics page also links to various statistical publications created by WIPO, such as WIPO IP Facts and Figures, 2012 edition (which we looked at in an earlier post). [...]

  2. [...] systems for brands, patents, and IP-related laws and treaties through the WIPO GOLD portal,  IP Statistics at both an international level and for individual countries,  a wide range of IP news through the [...]

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