WIPO report shows continued IP growth driven by Chinese filings

Global intellectual property (IP) filings for patents, trademarks and designs continue to surge, mainly driven by filing increases from Asia. According to the 2022 World Intellectual Property Indicators Report (WIPI), China housed 37.2 million active trademarks in 2021. The report shows that China ranked first in various indicators, reflecting the progress China has made in IP comprehensive strength and science and technology innovation capacity.


Igor Demcak

Worldwide IP Filings in 2021

Despite the downside trend from previous economic downturns, IP filings remained strong during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and soared in 2021, as shown by the WIPI Report, which is annually issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Most countries registered increases in trademark filing activity in 2021, with 18.1 million trademark class counts worldwide in 2021, up 5.5% in 2020. The number of classes specified in applications grew by a remarkable 5.5% in 2021, marking a twelfth successive year of growth. Trademark filing activity grew in 18 of the top 20 offices. This growth in registering new brands coincided with a boom in entrepreneurial activity and venture capital deals prompted by the pandemic’s disruptions. Industrial design filing activity rose by 9.2%.

IP 2020/21

Source: WIPO Statistics Database, November 2022

China’s IP Office had the highest volume of filing activity with a class count of around 9.5 million; followed by the USPTO (899,678), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) (497,542), and the offices of India (488,526) and the UK (450,815). Offices in Asia accounted for 69.7% of all trademark filing activity in 2021, up from 44.7% in 2011.

IP 2020/21 by country

Source: WIPO Statistics Database, November 2022

On September 30, the day following the launch of WIPO’s Global Innovation Index (GII) 2022, WIPO Office in China (WOC) organised a Roundtable on the Reading of GII 2022. The Director of the WOC, Ms. Liu Hua, introduced that GII is one of WIPO’s flagship publications, tracking the most recent global innovation trends and measuring the innovation performance of around 132 economies.

China attaches great importance to scientific and technological innovation. It has worked actively to integrate itself into the global innovation network, strictly protects intellectual property, and strengthens international cooperation on scientific and technological innovation across the board. The report indicates that China will provide more substantial incentives to promote innovation among enterprises. China will also reinforce intellectual property rights protection and application, as well as promote the development of venture capital, develop new financial products and services to support scientific and technological development, and upgrade intermediary services for science and technology.

Value of trademark registration in China

China remains one of the most attractive markets for international companies. As the country continues to improve the conditions of its intellectual property sector and lead the most innovative technological landscape, many companies see great potential in the Chinese market for business growth. Whether you are already doing business there or just considering starting out, registering trademarks in China offers numerous benefits and, therefore, should be an essential part of your international trademark plan. Any business looking to expand internationally should have China as a priority country on the list to expand the scope of its intellectual property rights protection.

To be eligible for registration in China, a trademark has to be distinctive in order to differentiate the business source of the goods and services. In Trama, we offer a free lawyer's check with a 24-hour response guarantee that evaluates the distinctiveness of your trademark and other criteria necessary for a successful registration, such as possible conflicts with similar already registered trademarks on the market. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more about trademark registration options in China.

Igor Demcak
Igor Demcak

Trademark Attorney

Founder & CEO of Trama

7 year experience in IP protection

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