WIPO Full PCT Yearly Review Report: 2011 Patent Filings Set New Record


Back in March WIPO released the preliminary results from the 2011 patent filing data, and last week the full PCT yearly review was released. Chock full of interesting statistics and regional tables, it’s a good read even if it doesn’t contain any shocking new trends. A positive picture emerges as the patent industry shows steady signs of rebounded from the most recent economic depression which led to a substantial decline in patenting numbers from 2007-2009. Let’s look at some of the most interesting data in a nutshell, shall we?

International patent applications numbers set a new record – 181,900 in total, which is up 10.7% from 2010.

Looking at leading country of origin for PCT applications the US led the pack as usual with 48,596, followed by Japan, Germany and China. No news there, however the tides do slowly seem to be turning, as the US and Germany saw a drop in their shares, while the two Asian counterparts saw increases.

Another category with little change are PCT applications from universities – same as 2010, the top 3 continue to be the University of California (277 patent applications), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (179) and University of Texas (127).

Top PCT applicants from government and research institutions have seen a bit more fluctuations in the past few years but last year’s top 3 remain the same as 2011’s, coming from France, Germany and France respectively (interestingly Korea had a huge spike to the #1 spot in 2009).

Not surprisingly given the advances in smart phone technology and subsequent patent wars of the past year, Digital Communications Technology grabs the honor of holding the largest share of PCT applications, with Electronic Machinery, Medical Technology and Computer Technology as runners-up.

One area that would be interesting to see discussed further is how company size relates to patent filing statistics. Since at IPfolio we focus on the IP management software needs of small to mid-size intellectual property portfolios, we’re always curious to read more about the filing trends of start-ups, SMEs and other types of new organizations.

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