The number of international patent applications will continue to grow in 2020, and the number of international trademark applications will decline slightly

According to a report released by WIPO the day before yesterday, despite the huge human and economic losses caused by the 2019 coronavirus pandemic, the number of international patent applications submitted in 2020 will continue to grow, among which China and the United States are in the leading position, achieving annual growth.


International patent application (PCT)
The number of international patent applications submitted through the WIPO Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is one of the indicators to measure the wide use of innovation activities. Although global GDP is expected to decline by 3.5%, PCT applications will grow by 4% in 2020 to 275900, the highest number ever.
According to WIPO statistics, in 2019, China surpassed the United States as the largest user of PCT system for the first time, and the United States has maintained this position since PCT was put into operation in 1978. In 2020, China (68720 applications, a year-on-year increase of 16.1%) remains the largest user of wipo-pct system, followed by the United States (59230 applications, + 3%), Japan (50520 applications, - 4.1%), the Republic of Korea (20060 applications, + 5.2%) and Germany (18643 applications, - 3.7%).
At present, Asia accounts for 53.7% of the total PCT application activities.
(source: WIPO)
In 2020, Huawei Technology Co., Ltd. became the largest applicant for the fourth consecutive year with 5464 published PCT applications. Next were Samsung Electronics of the Republic of Korea (3093 pieces), Mitsubishi Electric Co., Ltd. (2810 pieces), LG Electronics of the Republic of Korea (2759 pieces) and Qualcomm of the United States (2173 pieces).
Among educational institutions, the University of California continues to be the top applicant with 559 published applications in 2020. MIT (269) came in second, followed by Shenzhen University (252), Tsinghua University (231) and Zhejiang University (209). Among the top ten universities on the list, five are from China, four from the United States and one from Japan.
In terms of technology, computer technology (9.2% of the total) accounted for the largest proportion of published PCT applications, followed by digital communication (8.3%), medical technology (6.6%), electrical machinery (6.6%) and measurement (4.8%).
In 2020, among the top ten technologies, six technologies have achieved double-digit growth, of which audio-visual technology has the fastest growth rate, reaching + 29.5%, compared with 8.7% in the previous year. Next came digital communication (+ 15.8%), computer technology (+ 13.2%), measurement (+ 10.9%), semiconductor (+ 10.1%) and drugs (+ 10%).
International trademark application (Madrid system)
Trademarks tend to represent the introduction of new goods and services, both of which have slowed down due to the global pandemic, so the use of the international trademark system has declined slightly. In 2020, the number of international trademark applications submitted through the Madrid system of WIPO trademark international registration decreased by 0.6% to 63800, the first decline since the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. The United States (10005) is still the largest applicant using WIPO Madrid system to file international trademark applications, followed by Germany (7334), China (7075), France (3716) and the United Kingdom (3679). Among the top 10 sources, China (+ 16.4%) is the only country with double-digit growth in 2020.
Novartis of Switzerland ranks first in 2020 with 233 Madrid applications. Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (197 pieces), Shiseido Co., Ltd. (130 pieces), Germany's ADP Goldman (123 pieces) and France's L'Oreal (115 pieces) were closely followed.
Among the international applications accepted by WIPO, category 9 (computer software and hardware and other electrical or electronic devices, etc.) is the most designated category, accounting for 10.6% of the total in 2020. Followed by 35 (business services; 8.1%) and 42 (technical services; 7.1%). Among the top ten categories, category 10 (surgical, medical, dental and veterinary instruments, + 21.1%) and category 5 (drugs and other medical preparations, + 9.2%) grew the fastest.
International design system (Hague system)
Germany is still the largest user of the international design system (Hague system) with 3666 designs. The United States (2211 designs) rose from the sixth place to become the second largest user of the Hague system in 2020. Switzerland (1944 designs), the Republic of Korea (1669) and Italy (1231) ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively. Among the top 10 countries of origin, the United States (+ 62.7%), Turkey (+ 34.7%) and China (+ 22.7%) are the only three countries that recorded growth in 2020.
Samsung Electronics of the Republic of Korea topped the list of applicants for the fourth consecutive year with 859 designs in its published applications, followed by P & G of the United States (623), fonkel meubel marketing of the Netherlands (569), Volkswagen of Germany (524) and Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software Co., Ltd. (516). For the first time, Chinese enterprises ranked among the top five applicants.
In 2020, transport related designs (10.1%) accounted for the largest proportion of all designs, followed by recording and communication equipment (8.8%), packaging and containers (8.4%), furniture (7.4%) and lighting equipment (6.9%).
Domain name dispute
In 2020, trademark owners submitted a record 4204 cases to the arbitration and mediation center of WIPO in accordance with the unified Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). Since the beginning of this service, the number of cases has exceeded 50000.