China files more Patent, Trade Mark and Registered Design Applications than Anyone Else












Jane Lambert

The World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") published its World Intellectual Property Indicators 2018 on 16 Oct 2019.  In September 2019, the Intellectual Property Office published Facts and figures: patent, trade mark, design and hearing data: 2018 for the UK.

The headline figures that appear on page 7 of the WIPO report is that there were over 3.3 million patent applications in 2018 which is 5.2% above the figure for 2017. China accounted for 46.4% of those applications with over 1.5 million. That was an increase of 11.6% on the number of Chinese applications for the previous year. The USA was number 2 with 597, a 1.6% decline on the figure for the previous year.  Japan came a distant third with 313,567 applications.

China accounted for more than half of the world's 14.3 million trade mark applications with 7.4 million applications. Again the USA came in second with 640,181 and Japan third with 512,156.  China also came top with the number of registered design and plant breeders' rights applications.   In the USA design patents can be granted for new and original designs and plant patents for new plant varieties.

On the next page, there is an Overview of IP filing activity.   The UK lies 7th in the number of patent applications filed in its own and foreign patent intellectual property offices behind China, the USA, Japan, South Korea, Germany and France, 8th in trade mark applications behind China, the USA, Japan, Germany, France, Iran and Russia and 8th in registered design applications behind China, Germany, South Korea, the USA, Italy, Japan and Turkey.

According to its Facts and figures, the IPO received 20,931 patent applications in 2018 which was 5% fewer than in the previous year. However, it received 95,203 trade mark applications which was 13% better than in the previous year and 26,164 registered design applications wjich36% more than in the previous year.

The UK accounted for 12,843 of the 20,9331 applications for UK patents. London accounted for 2,625 of those applications and Southeast England a further 1,944,  The region with the fewest patent applications was Northern Ireland with only 143 followed by the Northeast with 279.  The foreign country with the most British patent applications was the USA with 2,479 followed by China with 1,006 and Japan with 637.

Anyone wishing to discuss this article or IP filings generally should call me on 020 7404 5252 during office hours or send me a message through my contact form. 

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