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Global patent filings edge higher in 2022: UN
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Global patent filings edge higher in 2022: UN
By Robin MILLARD
Geneva (AFP) Feb 28, 2023

The number of international patents filed last year grew only slightly, with the climate for innovation reflecting the difficult economic conditions in 2022, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

A record 278,100 patents were filed last year, up 0.3 percent, the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization said in its annual overview.

Asia's dominance continued, accounting for 54.7 percent of international patent applications, WIPO said.

China remains the top source of applications ahead of the United States and Japan under WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which simplifies obtaining patent protection in multiple countries.

"The overall modest growth rate reflects the challenging economic conditions prevailing in 2022. Notwithstanding these conditions, firms continued to invest in innovation and intellectual property," WIPO said.

Firms from China filed 70,105 patent applications, followed by the United States (59,056), Japan (50,345), South Korea (22,012) and Germany (17,530).

France, Britain, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands rounded out the top 10.

But notably sharp rises in the number of filings were registered in 12th-placed India (up 25.4 percent) and in South Korea (up 6.2 percent).

"International IP filings largely held up in 2022," said WIPO chief Daren Tang.

"Despite difficult economic conditions and a decline in risk finance, businesses continued to invest in innovation."

Chinese tech giant Huawei remains the top filer with 7,689 patent applications, ahead of South Korean rival Samsung on 4,387, which jumped up to second place with a 44.3 percent increase in applications.

They were ahead of US firm Qualcomm (3,855), Japan's Mitsubishi Electric (2,320) and Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson (2,158).

Computer technology accounted for the largest share of applications at 10.4 percent, followed by digital communication, electrical machinery, medical technology and then measurement.

Of the top 10 technology fields, eight saw growth in 2022.

"After the particularly strong growth in health-related technology fields of last year, digital technology fields returned to the fastest growing fields among PCT applications in 2022," WIPO said.

- L'Oreal tops trademarks -

As for trademark applications, US-based firms filed the most (12,495), followed by those in Germany (7,695), China (4,991), France (4,403) and Britain (4,227).

French cosmetics giant L'Oreal once again topped the pack, with 160 trademark applications.

Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis moved up three places to number two with 131 applications, followed by Britain's Glaxo Group (128), Bulgaria's Euro Games Technology (120) and South Korea's Hyundai.

And as for design patent applications, the number of applications in 2022 reached a record 25,028, up 11.2 percent.

The numbers were boosted by China joining the system, which eliminates the need to file and pay for separate design protection applications in each WIPO member country.

"China's entry... fuelled design applications from China and the rest of the world," said Tang.

Germany remained the top country of origin, its firms seeking protection for 4,909 designs, followed by China on 2,558, ahead of Italy, which overtook the United States. Switzerland came fifth.

rjm/rl/gil

HYUNDAI MOTOR

QUALCOMM

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS

MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC

ERICSSON

L'OREAL

NOVARTIS

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