In 2022, the global landscape of intellectual property (IP) experienced significant changes and trends, as outlined in the World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report. While trademark and design applications dropped, patent filings saw an unprecedented surge, driven primarily by innovators from India and China. This article will provide insights into the key findings and trends from the WIPI report.
Patent Filings Reach New Heights
In 2022, the world witnessed an impressive surge in patent applications, marking the third consecutive year of growth. Innovators worldwide submitted a staggering 3.46 million patent applications, demonstrating a remarkable global interest in protecting intellectual property.
Leading Countries in Patent Filings
The top countries contributing to this patenting boom included China, the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Germany. China maintained its dominant position, accounting for nearly half of all global patent applications. However, the country’s growth rate experienced a decline from 6.8% in 2021 to 3.1% in 2022. In contrast, India stood out with an exceptional growth rate of 31.6%, extending an impressive 11-year streak of growth, unparalleled among the top 10 filers.
Challenges Loom for the IP Ecosystem
Despite this remarkable growth in patent applications, the WIPO Director General, Daren Tang, expressed concerns about geopolitical instability and an uncertain economic outlook that could impact the global intellectual property ecosystem. These factors could potentially affect the future growth of IP filings.
Asia Dominates IP Filings
Continuing a long-term trend, the majority of IP filing activity occurred in Asia. In 2022, Asia accounted for 67.9% of global patent filings, 67.8% of trademark applications, and 70.3% of industrial design filings, reaffirming the region’s central role in the global IP landscape.
Patent Filings by Residents of China and India
Chinese residents led the way with around 1.58 million patent applications in 2022, both domestically and internationally. Following China were the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Germany. China, the Republic of Korea, and the United States saw increases in their patent applications, while Germany and Japan experienced declines. Notably, India reported substantial growth in patent filings, along with Switzerland, Austria, and the United Kingdom.
Trademark Applications Experience a Downturn
In contrast to patent filings, trademark applications faced a downturn in 2022, with a 14.5% decrease in application class counts. This drop followed the exceptional growth in 2020 and 2021, influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated changes in work and lifestyle, leading to the introduction of new goods and services.
Trademark Filings by Leading Countries
China led the way in trademark filings with a combined count of around 7.7 million classes, followed by the United States, Türkiye, Germany, and India. However, filings from 14 of the top 20 countries experienced a decrease in 2022, with China’s filings declining by nearly 21%.
Trademark Growth in Some Countries
Despite the overall decrease, trademark filing grew in six of the top 20 countries, with some recording double-digit growth. Countries like the Russian Federation, Türkiye, and Indonesia experienced notable growth. This growth was driven by both domestic and international filing activities.
Industrial Design Applications Experience a Decline
In 2022, there was a 2.1% decrease in industrial design applications, with a total of 1.1 million applications containing approximately 1.5 million designs. China was the leading country in terms of design count, followed by Türkiye, Germany, the United States, and the Republic of Korea.
Growth in Industrial Design in Select Countries
While most of the top 20 origins saw a decrease in design count, countries like Türkiye, Brazil, India, Italy, and Switzerland experienced growth. Additionally, several low- and middle-income economies beyond the top 20 origins, such as Bulgaria, Morocco, and Indonesia, reported high annual growth rates in 2022.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.