SIPO becomes largest patent office in the world


The World Intellectual Property Organisation has released its World Intellectual Property Indicators 2012.

Despite the weak economic conditions, most of the top 20 IP offices saw growth in patent applications between 2010 and 2011. The area which saw the highest growth rate was digital communication technologies.

In particular, in 2011 the China State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) surpassed the US Patent and Trademark Office for the first time, becoming the world’s number-one patent filer. SIPO received over 526,000 patent applications in 2011, a year-on-year growth of 34.6%. China accounted for 72.1% of the growth in patent applications in 2011 worldwide. This was against a backdrop of China having the fastest-growing economy in a slow global market. The rapid growth in China was largely attributed to the sharp increase in filings by residents: Chinese residents now file 79% of all patents, compared to 47% in 1985.

China now leads the world in patent applications, holding a 24.6% share of global patent applications in 2011, having achieved the same milestone in utility models (87.3% of global applications), trademarks (22.8% of global applications) and industrial designs (53.1% of global applications). China is now third in the list of offices with most patents granted, after Japan and the United States.

Other patent offices which saw considerable growth in patent filings include Hong Kong, South Africa, Algeria, Madagascar and Saudi Arabia. In contrast, the number of patent filings dropped substantially in Guatemala, Jamaica and Jordan in 2011. 


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