Innovators filed some 2.7 million patent applications to mark another worldwide annual rise in 2014, as application activity in China outstripped the combined total in its next-closest followers, the United States and Japan, declared the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on Monday.
According to the 2015 edition of the World Intellectual Property Indicators published Monday on the latest trends in intellectual property (IP) activity worldwide, in total, innovators filed some 2.7 million patent applications worldwide in 2014, up 4.5 percent from 2013, while filings in China were the main driver of growth in 2014.
Patent offices receiving the highest number of applications in 2014 were China, with 928,177 filings, followed by the U.S. (578,802), Japan (325,989), the Republic of Korea (210,292) and the European Patent Office (152,662). Along with China, Brazil and India, two large middle-income countries, ranked among the top ten offices.
If the current trend continues, China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) is set to become the first office to receive a million applications in a single year, predicted the report.
"Demand for IP rights continued to grow around the globe in 2014," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. "This underscores the central role that new technology and brand recognition play in determining success in today's marketplace. It also highlights the important task that falls to IP offices in maintaining quality when examining IP applications."
According to estimations, computer technology saw most applications worldwide, followed by electrical machinery, measurement and digital communication, while digital communication and computer technology have been the two fastest growing technological fields over the past 20 years.
An estimated 1.18 million patents were granted worldwide in 2014, which saw relatively modest growth of 0.3 percent. This is mainly due to fewer grants issued by the Japan Patent Office (JPO), which granted 50,000 less patents in 2014 than in 2013.