China is causing a stir. Although it now has more billionaires than the United States and India, it also excludes Mama Sama from the patent front, who in 2019 already became the first applicant for international patent applications. UN Despite the decline in global GDP, the Geneva-based UN International patent applications filed by the organization World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have increased by 4% overall by 275,900 requests by 2020, the highest number ever recorded.
“Innovation is solid,” Ombi Director General Darren Tom told a news conference. However, according to OMP experts, the analysis of the effects of the epidemic is still in its infancy because the time between filing a patent in a national office and its arrival before the agency is usually twelve months. He explained to the media that “most of the patents filed under the PCD (Patent Cooperation Agreement) system in 2020 are related to innovations that took place before the outbreak of the epidemic.” Ombi’s chief economist is Carsten Fink.
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“Nevertheless, the sharp decline in the number of international patents indicates that companies continue to invest in commercializing their technologies during epidemics,” he said. The two main users of the system, China and the United States, each recorded annual growth in their deposits.
But the gap between the two world powers was about 1,000 international patent applications in 2019, but now it is 10,000. China is the champion with 68,720 claims (+ 16.1% annual growth), followed by the United States (59,230 requests, + 3%), Japan (50,520 requests, -4.1%), Korea (20,060 requests, + 5.2%) and Germany (18,643 requests, -3.7%). Among the countries that experienced strong growth were Saudi Arabia (956 requests, + 73.2%), Malaysia (255 requests, + 26.2%), Chile (262 requests, + 17.0%), Singapore (1,278 requests, + 14.9%) and Brazil (697 requests, + 8.4%).
The use of the international trademark system, on the other hand, declined slightly. This trend, according to Ombi, is “predictable as brands generally coincide with the introduction of new products and services – two events have been reduced by the global epidemic”. The economic downturn from the health crisis has also weighed on the demand for industrial design protection by the organization for international registration of industrial designs. Demand is down 15% in 2020, the first drop since 2006.
For the fourth year in a row, Chinese telecommunications company Hawaii Technologies filed for the first time in 2020, with 5,464 international patent applications. It is followed by Samsung Electronics in Korea, Mitsubishi Electric in Japan, LG Electronics in Korea and Qualcomm Inc. in the United States.
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Among the top 10 applicants, LG Electronics reported the fastest growth (+ 67.6%) in the number of applications released in 2020, with the result rising from tenth in 2019 to fourth in 2020. Computer technologies (9.2% of the total) accounted for the largest share, followed by digital communications (8.3%), medical technologies (6.6%) and electronics (6, 6%).