Worldwide filings for patents, trademarks and industrial designs reached record heights in 2016 amid soaring demand in China, which received more patent applications than the combined total for the United States of America, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the European Patent Office.
Innovators around the world filed 3.1 million patent applications in 2016, up 8.3% in a seventh straight yearly increase, according to WIPO’s annual World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report. China received about 236,600 of the nearly 240,600 additional patent filings, accounting for 98% of total growth. Trademark applications jumped by 16.4% to about 7 million, and worldwide industrial design applications grew by 10.4% to almost 1 million – both also driven by growth in China.
As WIPO DG Francis Gurry said, the latest figures charting a rise in demand for intellectual property rights confirm a decade-long trend, where developments in China increasingly leave their mark on the worldwide totals.