According to recently published statistics, patent filings received by the five largest Patent Offices of the world (sometimes referred to as IP5), namely the European Patent Office, the Japan Patent Office, the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, increased by 11% in 2012 compared to 2011. A total number of 1,876 million patent filings was recorded.
According to the Executive Summary of the IP5 Statistics Report 2012, the following impressive figures were ascertained as well:
- At the end of 2011, 7.9 million patents were in force worldwide, which amounts to an increase of 6.6% compared to the previous year. A share of 89% of these patents was valid in one of the IP5 Offices jurisdictions.
- Approximately 1.8 million patent applications were filed worldwide in 2011, with 92% thereof originating from the IP5 territories.
- Together, the IP5 Offices granted 923,979 patents in 2012, which equated to an increase of 17%.
It is evident that on an average, patent and patent application portfolios keep increasing. It would seem that staying out of the patent system is not a smart option for any innovative industry.