The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced yesterday that the number of worldwide patent filings continues to grow, with 1.76 million patent applications filed in 2006, an increase of 4.9 % over the previous year.
According to the 2008 edition of the World Patent Report, the number of patents granted increased by 18 %, with some 727 000 patents granted in 2006 alone. The total number of patents in force worldwide was around 6.1 million at the end of 2006.
China , Korea and the US
WIPO Director General Dr Kamil Idris said: “A major increase in innovative activity in China, the Republic of Korea and the United States has driven the overall growth of patent filings in 2006. This reflects a consolidation of earlier trends which demonstrate a marked shift in innovation hubs around the world.”
The report identifies a growing tendency for applicants to file applications in multiple countries, demonstrated by the growth in filings through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and non-resident patent filings.
In 2005 - the latest year for which technology data are available - computer technology (114 594), telecommunications (116 770) and electrical machinery (121 350) recorded the most intense patenting activity.
Recent pressures on energy resources have also boosted patent activity in the energy sector, in particular in relation to solar energy, fuel cells and wind energy.
Francis Gurry, WIPO Deputy Director General responsible for patents, said “while the report underlines promising trends in the use of the patent system, it also points to the need to find solutions to address the persistent backlogs in workload at many IP offices around the world.”
Download Annual report 2007
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