Patent applications increased by around 6 percent while trademark filings almost surpassed 12.5 million, according to a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 2017 report.
WIPO’s annual World Intellectual Property Indicators report found that last year 3.17 million patents were filed, making it the eighth consecutive yearly increase.
Global trademark filing activity totalled 12.39 million, while that for industrial designs reached 1.24 million.
According to WIPO, activities by Chinese innovators was a leading factor behind the growth in filings for patents, trademarks and industrial designs.
The report also showed that China recorded the highest application volume for each of these IP rights as innovators and creators. China’s IP office received the highest number of patent applications in 2017, a record total of 1.38 million.
Despite China’s growth in filings, Germany and Russia saw a decline in filings by 0.3 and 11.3 percent, respectively.
Worldwide plant varieties applications grew by 11.7 percent to reach 18,490 applications in 2017, while data received from 82 national and regional authorities highlight the existence of around 59,500 protected geographical indications (GIs) in 2017.
China also had the highest volume of trademark filing activity with a class count of almost six million. The US and Japan were second and third, respectively. The UK and Canada also saw considerable growth in filings.
WIPO director general Francis Gurry commented on the report’s findings: “Demand for IP protection is rising faster than the rate of global economic growth, illustrating that IP-backed innovation is an increasingly critical component of competition and commercial activity.”
“In just a few decades, China has constructed an IP system, encouraged homegrown innovation, joined the ranks of the world’s IP leaders - and is now driving worldwide growth in IP filings.”