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WIPO report on global IP trends

WIPO report on global IP trends

06 December 2017

Robert Watson, partner in our chemistry and materials team, comments on the World Intellectual Property Indicators 2017 report by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Every year the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) publishes an analysis of the trends in IP filings across the world. This analysis combines statistics from national and regional IP offices, and includes figures from WIPO’s own filing systems, as well as data from the World Bank.

This year’s report shows another record in the demand for the registration of patents, trade marks and designs, whilst also reporting for the first time on the operational performance of IP offices. The rate of growth of trade mark applications and design applications were both in double digits (16.4% and 10.4% respectively) with patent applications up an impressive 8.4%. As has been the trend in recent years, the driver for most of this growth has been filings in China.

The report contains many interesting figures – to highlight a couple of points relevant to the European market, patent filings at the EPO actually dropped from 2015 to 2016 (by 0.4%), whereas design filings at the EUIPO rose by 8.4%. However, the figures on the performance of IP offices is probably the most revealing. Graphs illustrating the trends in the number of patent applications filed overlaid by the number of examiners show that in many major offices (e.g. the USPTO, EPO, KIPO) the increasing headcount of examiners has kept pace with the increasing number of applications. The following figure showing average pendency time for the first office action and final decision at selected offices confirms those offices known to be slow to issue first actions (India and Brazil) as well as those offices who issue first actions quickly after examination starts (e.g. New Zealand, EPO).


The report does a good job of pulling out all types of information that could be of interest to its readers, as well as signposting the huge amount of data collected by WIPO and made available via the IP statistics, part of the WIPO website.

Read the full press release.