World IP Indicators: Asia Continues to Outpace Other Regions in IP Filing in 2018

According to the World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) 2019 report released recently by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Asia continued to outpace other regions in the filing of patent, trademark and industrial design applications, accounting for more than two-thirds of all these applications in 2018.
In 2018, patent filings across the globe reached 3.3 million applications, up 5.2% from 2017, representing a ninth-year increase in a row. China’s IP office received the highest number of patent filings in the year, with 1.54 million applications (up 11.6% from 2017) which amounted to 46.4% of the global total. The IP office of China was followed by that of the US (597,141, down 1.6%), Japan (313,567, down 1.5%), Korea (209,992, up 2.5%), and the European Patent Office (174,397, up 4.7%). These five offices together accounted for 85.3% of the world's patent filings of the year.
In terms of trademark, an estimated 10.9 million applications covering 14.3 million classes (up 15.5% from 2017) were filed worldwide in 2018, marking a ninth consecutive year of growth. China’s IP office had the highest volume of trademark filings with a class count of around 7.4 million. It was followed by the IP offices of the US (640,181) and Japan (512,156), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO; 392,925), and the IP office of Iran (384,338).
For industrial design, an estimated 1 million applications containing 1.3 million designs were filed worldwide in 2018, representing a 5.7% year-on-year increase. China’s IP office received industrial design applications containing 708,799 designs in 2018, corresponding to 54% of the world total. It was followed by the EUIPO (108,174) and the IP offices of Korea (68,054), the US (47,137), and Germany (44,460). Designs related to furnishings accounted for 10.5% of global filing activity, followed by those related to clothing (8.3%) and to packages and containers (7.7%).
Worldwide plant variety filings grew by 8.9% to reach 20,210 applications in 2018. China received 5,760 plant variety applications in 2018, up 29% on 2017, accounting for over a quarter of the world total, which was followed by the European Union (3,554), the US (1,609), Ukraine (1,575), and Japan (880).
In 2018, there were around 65,900 geographical origins (GIs) in force worldwide. Germany (15,566) reported the largest number of GIs in force, followed by China (7,247), Hungary (6,683), and the Czech Republic (6,285). GIs in force relating to wines and spirits accounted for around 51.1% of the 2018 world total, followed by agricultural products and foodstuffs (29.9%) and handicrafts (2.7%).