Netherlands in top 15 PCT filings with double-digit growth and recording fastest growth

Netherlands in top 15 PCT filings with double-digit growth and recording fastest growth

International filings for patents, trademarks and industrial designs under WIPO-administered intellectual property (IP) systems saw continued strong growth in 2012.

In 2012, international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) grew by 6.6% on 2011.1 Japan and the United States of America (US) accounted for 48.8% of the 194,400 PCT applications filed in 2012. Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, with its 3,906 published PCT applications, was the largest filer in 2012.3

International trademark applications filed under the Madrid system grew by 4.1% in 2012.4 France, Germany and the US accounted for 36.5% of the 44,018 Madrid applications filed in 2012. Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis was the most active filer in 2012, with 176 Madrid applications.

International industrial design applications filed under the Hague system grew by 3.3% on 2011.5 The 2,604 applications filed in 2012 contained 12,454 individual designs, representing 3.5% growth over 2011. France, Germany and Switzerland accounted for 62.8% of total designs. Swatch AG of Switzerland with 81 applications was the largest filer in 2012.

“As in previous years, demand for WIPO’s international IP filing systems increased despite a weak economic climate,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “As we begin to see signs of a recovery, those companies that built strong portfolios of intangible assets during the downturn will benefit the most from new market opportunities.”
Top PCT filing countries

Among the top 15 PCT filings countries, the Netherlands (+14.0%), China (+13.6%), the Republic of Korea (+13.4%), Finland (+13.2%) and Japan (+12.3%) saw double-digit filing growth in 2012. After two years of decline in the number of filings, the Netherlands recorded the fastest growth. China’s 2012 growth is lower than that of the previous two years; this partly reflects the sharp increase in Chinese filings since 2009, as an enlarged filing base naturally reduces relative growth rates. Canada (-6.7%), Spain (-2.4%) and Australia (-1.8%) are the three high-income countries in which fewer international applications were filed in 2012 than in 2011.

Large middle-income countries such as Turkey (-16.3%), Mexico (-15.6%), India (-9.2%), South Africa (-5.3%) and the Russian Federation (-4%) saw drops in PCT applications in 2012 after having recorded growth in 2011. Brazil is one of the few exceptions exhibiting growth in both 2011 (+15.6%) and 2012 (+4.1%).

The US (51,207) filed the largest number of PCT applications, followed by Japan (43,660), Germany (18,855), China (18,627) and the Republic of Korea (11,848). Japan (+1.1 percentage point), China (+0.6), and the Republic of Korea (+0.4) increased their respective shares of the world total, while Germany (-0.6) and the US (-0.6) saw slight decreases.

Source: WIPO

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