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Global trademark activity booms despite pandemic downturn: UN agency

Intellectual property filings boomed in 2020, showing vibrant global entrepreneurship, says World Intellectual Property Organization

Global trademark filing activity boomed in 2020, defying global downturn and signaling vibrant entrepreneurship, the World Intellectual Property Organization said on Monday.

“WIPO’s World Intellectual Property Indicators Report confirms that despite the deepest economic contraction in decades, intellectual property filings a strong indicator of innovation – showed remarkable resilience during the pandemic,” said Daren Tang, the director general of the UN agency.

The organization data showed that patent and industrial design filing activity rebounded in 2020, illustrating the strength of human innovation even amid the dire global health situation.

“They capture for the first time how the global intellectual property system has fared as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in the spring of last year,” Marco Aleman, the organization’s assistant director general, told journalists at a UN press conference in Geneva.

Worldwide patent filing activity returned to growth in 2020 after the first dip in a decade in 2019,driven by a falloff in China.

In 2020, China’s intellectual property office reported growth again with 1.5 million patent applications.

This was 2.5 times more than the amount received by the patent office of the second leading country, the US (597,172).

The US was followed by Japan (288,472), South Korea (226,759), and the European Patent Office (180,346).

Together, these five offices accounted for 85.1% of the world’s total.

Among the top 10 offices, only three offices China (+6.9%), India (+5.9%), and South Korea (+3.6%) – recorded growth in applications in 2020, while Germany (–7.9%) and Japan (–6.3%) saw steep declines.

Industrial design applications

For industrial design applications, an estimated 1.1 million applications, including 1.4 million for designs, were filed worldwide in 2020, representing a 2% year-on-year increase.

China’s intellectual property office received 770,362 design applications in 2020, corresponding to 55.5% of the world total.

It was followed by the European Patent Office (113,196), South Korea (70,821), the US (50,743), and Turkey (47,653).

Among the top 10 offices, the UK (up by 9.5%) and China (+8.3%) recorded strong growth in design filing activity in 2020, while Turkey (+3.1%), South Korea (+2.1%), and the US (+1.8%) saw modest growth.

“Turkey is quite a large origin for industrial design; it ranks number five in the world,” said WIPO chief economist Carsten Fink.

He said that in the last 10 years, Turkey featured quite prominently in the case of trademarks and industrial designs, maybe somewhat less for patents.

This is an attestation of “the vibrancy of Turkey’s innovation economy,” said Fink.

The global trademark filing activity rose by 13.7%, patents by 1.6%, and designs by 2%, according to the World Intellectual Property Indicators, which compiles new data from some 150 national and regional authorities.

It shows how innovators, designers and brands are increasingly relying on intellectual property tools to expand their enterprises and seek new growth.

Source
AA

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