World IP Indicators 2021: Global Trademark Filings Rise 13.7% in 2020 amid Global Pandemic
 

On 8 November 2021, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released the World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) 2021 report, which compiled and analysed IP data in 2020 including those related to patent, trademark, and industrial design from some 150 national and regional authorities for illustration of the global trends in innovation and creativity.
 
According to the report, the world's trademark filings in 2020 saw a significant rise of 13.7%, and filings of patent and industrial design also increased 1.6% and 2% respectively, defying the economic downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
For patents, worldwide patent filings, amounting to 3,276,700 applications in 2020, returned to growth after the first drop in a decade in 2019. The top five IP offices in terms of volume of filings in 2020 were: the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA, 1,497,159 applications), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO, 597,172), the Japan Patent Office (288,472), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO, 226,759), and the European Patent Office (180,346). Together, these five offices accounted for 85.1% of the world total.
 
As for trademarks, an estimated 13.4 million trademark applications covering about 17.2 million classes were filed worldwide in 2020. The number of classes specified in applications grew by a remarkable 13.7% in 2020, marking an eleventh successive year of growth. The CNIPA received the highest volume of trademark filings with a class count of 9,345,757, followed by the USPTO (870,306 classes), the Iranian Intellectual Property Office (541,750), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO, 438,511), and the Trade Mark Registry of India (424,583).
 
Regarding industrial designs, an estimated 1.1 million applications containing 1.4 million designs were filed worldwide in 2020, of which the CNIPA received applications containing 770,362 designs, which accounted for 55.5% of the world total. Following the CNIPA were the EUIPO (113,196), the KIPO (70,821), the USPTO (50,743), and the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (47,653).
 
This year’s WIPI report found year 2020 continuing the shift of IP's center of gravity to Asia, with offices located in Asia receiving two-thirds (66.6%) of all patent applications filed worldwide in 2020, a considerable increase from 51.5% in 2010; 71.8% of all trademark filings in 2020, up from 41.3% in 2010; and 70.9% of all designs in applications filed worldwide in 2020, up from 60.8% in 2010.