Leaving their mark

Published: Wednesday 15 May 2002

-- With almost all the countries entering the 'patents' bandwagon, year 2001 witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of patents application. The International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Organisation received a total of 103,947 applications filed worldwide, which not only represented a 14.3 per cent increase over the number of applications filed in 2000, but also marked a milestone of 100,000 international applications filed in one year. Applicants from the US filed the largest number of patent applications in 2001 -- 38.5 per cent of all applications, followed by Germany (13.1 per cent), Japan (11.4 per cent), the UK (6.0 per cent) and France (4.4 per cent). Surprisingly, the filing of patent applications in developing countries increased overall by 70.6 per cent as compared to 2000, with a particularly high increase in applications filed by China (188.4 per cent), India (102.6 per cent), the Republic of Korea (53.1 per cent) and Mexico (50.7 per cent). Such increase marks the growing popularity of the patent cooperation treaty system that offers inventors and industry an advantageous route for obtaining patent protection internationally.

Screening at a glance
The year 2001 witnessed an increase in the number of
applications filed all across the world
International search
Number of applications received
2001 2000
European Patent Office 63,128 55,414
USA 17,793 17,386
Japan 11,182 8,850
Sweden 4,481 4,040
Australia 2,086 1,886
Republic of Korea 2,033 1,217
China 1,661 573
Russian Federation 556 595
Spain 514 440
Austria 493 545
Total 103,927 90,946
Note: Each international application is subjected to an international search carried out by one of the major patent offices, acting as an international searching authority under the patent cooperation treaty.

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