The United States Patent and Trademark Office released its FY 2014 Performance and Accountability Report and reported that 50.9% of the patent applications filed at the office in 2014 came from non-U.S. Residents. This is consistent with the prior year trend of increases in the percentage of foreign patent applicants.

A total of 295,051 patent applications were filed by non-U.S. residents, with the patent applicants from the following countries representing the top-ten countries of origin:

  • Japan (87,369)
  • South Korea (34,795)
  • Germany (31,537)
  • Taiwan (21,949)
  • China (15,496)
  • Canada (14,730; %)
  • United Kingdom (13,680)
  • France (11,972)
  • Israel (7,230)
  • India (6,411)

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The continued increase in foreign origin patent applications is an indication of the overall health of the United States patent system.  Foreign investment in our patent system represents confidence in both our patent system and in our court system to enforce the patents issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  The increase in foreign origin patent applications in the United States is consistent with the overall trend of increased patent application filings by foreign origin applicants at the European Patent Office, the Japan Patent Office, the Korean Intellectual Property Office and the Chinese Intellectual Property Office (SIPO).  In combination with patent law harmonization efforts that have progressed over the past twenty years, the global nature of these increases indicates confidence in the major national and regional patenting authorities and legal systems to enforce the ensuing patent rights.