New York, NY (BBN)- Demand for international trademarks and patents dropped last year in the wake of the global economic crisis, with the United States and Europe hit hardest, the United Nations agency entrusted with protecting intellectual property rights has said.
A report by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) points to weaker growth in patent filings in 2008, after a 3.7 per cent increase in 2007. The slowdown is attributed to a decrease in patents granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO).
The report said Japan has overtaken the US as the largest issuer of grants for the first time since 1998.
The number of patents filed in emerging economies is rapidly increasing, with China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) office replacing the EPO as the fourth largest issuer of grants behind offices in Japan, the US, and the Republic of Korea.
The report also points to a decrease in trademark activity, with China receiving twice as many applications as the US. However, only a fraction of Chinese trademarks are protected in other jurisdictions, whereas nearly 43 per cent of US trademarks are protected abroad.
The WIPO-administered Madrid System, which makes it possible to register and renew international trademarks in up to 84 jurisdictions by means of a single application, rose in 2008 by 6.5 percent with nearly 41,000 registrations.
Industrial design applications experienced 15 percent growth, due to increased activity in China which accounted for 43 per cent of worldwide application, according to the report.
BBN/SS/SI/AD-21September09-11:46 am (BST)