The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an agency of the United Nations that counts 188 nations among its members and administers numerous international treaties relating to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights worldwide. Among these treaties are the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Madrid Protocol for trademarks, and the Hague Agreement for industrial designs. Recently, WIPO released its Yearly Reviews with data pertaining to filings under each of these treaties. In this article, we take a look at some key insights from WIPO’s 2015 Yearly Reviews, and briefly examine Israel’s stature in the worldwide intellectual property landscape.
Each year, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) releases a series of reports highlighting statistics and developments in the world of global intellectual property. Recently, WIPO released its “Yearly Reviews” covering trademarks, industrial designs, and patents under the Madrid System, the Hague System, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), respectively. When viewed together, these three Yearly Reviews shed light on some interesting insights for intellectual property owners in Israel and worldwide.
Key Statistics from WIPO’s 2015 Yearly Reviews
As we have come to expect, WIPO’s Yearly Reviews are loaded with statistics. Some of the most noteworthy figures from this year’s reports include:
- Intellectual property owners are seeking protection at record rates. Trademark filings under the Madrid System reached a record high in 2014, climbing 2.3 percent and marking the fifth consecutive year of growth in the number of filings. By contrast, industrial design applications were down 2.2 percent in 2014, although the total number of applied-for designs actually grew by 9.6 percent. Patent filings fell in the middle, with a 4.5 percent increase in filings year-over-year from2013 to 2014.
- The countries with the highest numbers of filings remained largely the same, though several nations appear to be up and coming. As in previous years, the United States was among the nations with the largest numbers of filings in all three areas. Likewise, China and Japan continue to be strong in patent filings, though Japan actually saw its first decrease in patent filings since 1992. Germany overtook Switzerland as the largest user of the Hague System for industrial design registrations, and countries as varied as the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico all saw upticks in the number of filings originating from within their borders.
- Computer technology and pharmaceutical companies continue to pursue high numbers of filings. With respect to trademark filings, marks for computer hardware and software accounted for more than nine percent of all applications – the largest share of any class. For the first time, computer technology also became the field with the largest number of patent applications under the PCT. Across all three classes of intellectual property – trademarks, designs, and patents – pharmaceutical-related applications continued to make up a significant portion of the total filings as well.
Israel is Among the Top 15 Countries for PCT Patent Applications, Top 20 for Trademark Designations
Israel ranked fourteenth among PCT member nations in the total number of patent filings in 2014. While patent filings continue to be dominated by the U.S., China, Japan, and the European Patent Office, the nations ranking ninth through fifteenth were separated by just 1,070 applications. Among the top 15, Israel was one of 12 nations to see an increase in PCT patent filings in 2014.
With respect to trademark registration filings under the Madrid System, Israel ranks nineteenth in total designations worldwide. However, Israeli designations were down slightly (1.2 percent) in 2014. Last year, Israel saw just one industrial design registration under the Hague System.
What WIPO’s Yearly Reviews Mean for Intellectual Property Owners in Israel
WIPO’s 2015 Yearly Reviews contain numerous other noteworthy points as well. For example, with respect to patent filings under the PCT, just the top 50 applicants account for nearly 18 percent of all filings worldwide. However, filing numbers among individual inventors continue to be strong as well, with roughly 25 percent of Israel’s PCT applications being filed on behalf of individuals.
Overall, it is clear that the number of intellectual property owners seeking international protection for their intangible assets is on the rise. Perhaps now more than ever, trademark owners, industrial designers, and inventors need to be taking proactive measures to protect their rights and avoid infringing the rights of others.
Download WIPO’s Yearly Reviews
You can use these links to download WIPO’s 2015 Yearly Reviews: