In December 2017 WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) published its new annual survey on global indexes of intellectual property activities referred to previous years.
According to published data, an increase of patent (8,3%), trademark (16,4%), design (10,4%) applications occurred in 2016, thus showing a more increasing awareness of the importance of investments in intangible assets concerning innovation and branding.
Nevertheless, such an increase was due most of all to the applications filed in China.
Patent applications filed throughout 2016 reached the historical peak of over 3 million and almost half of them were received by the State Intellectual Property Office of China, which received alone a higher number of application than the United States, Japan, Republic of Korea and EPO (European Patent Office) together.
EPO, ranked fifth, recorded a decreasing number of received filings with respect to 2015.
Concerning foreign applications, USA ranked first again, that is four times the number of foreign applications filed by Chinese citizens.
As regards trademark applications, the field with the highest increase with respect to 2015, the filings reached 7 million, thus tripling the results of 2001.
Again, the Chinese Office showed the highest number of received applications, approximately 3,7 million, 95% of which filed at national level. The United States and Japan followed China, while EUIPO ranked fourth with almost 370.000 filed applications.
It is also interesting to examine the data relative to classes where the applications were filed.
10,5% of trademark applications were registered for advertising activity and business managing, followed by 6,9% of trademark applications registered for computers, software, or instruments and 5,8% registered for education and entertainment and 5,7% for clothing.
Lastly, also regarding industrial design applications, China registered the highest increase with 52% of the whole global applications throughout 2016, concerning interior design, clothing and packaging. EUIPO ranked second.
Another interesting datum from the recently published survey concerns geographical indications, collected by WIPO for the first time after the gathering of relative data to national/regional authorities which answered the survey: their number was approximately 42.500, whose maximum amount was owned by Germany.