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Record IP filings worldwide in 2010

Record IP filings worldwide in 2010

Record IP filings worldwide in 2010

Intellectual property filings worldwide increased significantly in 2010, according to a new report from the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The report highlights a strong rebound in IP filings after a slump in 2009, with a 7.2pc growth in patent applications in 2010, the highest growth rate in five years, compared with a 3.6pc decline the previous year. The total number of patent applications worldwide reached 1.98 million, while trademark filings were up by 11.8pc reaching 3.66 million, both all-time high figures, according to WIPO.

WIPO director-general Francis Gurry said the increase in IP filings shows that companies across the globe have continued to innovate despite the difficult economic conditions. “This can help to create new jobs and generate prosperity once macroeconomic stability is restored,” he said in the report’s foreword.

Gurry warned, however, that “if economic conditions were to deteriorate sharply in the short term – as happened in 2009 – companies might be forced to curtail or abandon their investments in innovation, stifling an essential source of growth”.

The report reveals that computer technology, electrical machinery, audio-visual technology and medical technology accounted for the largest shares of patent filings worldwide.

China and the US accounted for the greatest share of IP filings, with 7.2pc, while in Europe growth in IP filings in France, Germany and the United Kingdom exceeded the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of the countries.

The US patent office saw 7.5pc growth in 2010 after two years of near-zero growth, and received the largest total number of applications, while the patent office of China overtook Japan to become the second largest recipient of patent applications in 2010. This mirrored wider economic trends as China overtook Japan to become the second largest economy in the world in 2010, as measured by GDP.

Other countries that saw double-digit growth in their patent filings include Singapore, Russia, Colombia, Malaysia, Philippines, Ukraine and Vietnam.

Applications down in Ireland

Overall, patent applications in Ireland were down from 4,372 in 2009 to 3,967 in 2010. Trademark applications, however, were up from 24,685 in 2009 to 27,487 in 2010. The pharmaceuticals sector (13.44pc) accounted for the highest proportion of patent applications, followed by medical technology (10.37pc), computer technology (6.33pc) and civil engineering 6.22pc).