International patent filing ‘continues to rise’

International patent filing continues to rise for global patent owners, particularly in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries, according to the 8th annual Global Patent & IP Trends Indicator from foreign patent filing specialist RWS inovia.

The report said 87% of the survey’s respondents filed patents in at least one of the BRIC countries in the last five years.

For the first time in the survey’s history “China was not included as a first time filing destination in 2016.”

RWS inovia said the survey showed that overall patent activity and international filing rates rose in 2016 with more than 41% of those polled having filed more than half of their patent applications overseas in 2016, compared to 34% filing more than half abroad in 2015.

The report also showed an increase in the number of patents filed with nearly three quarters of respondents filing more than four patents, with 24% filing 50 or more (up from 16% in 2015).

This year’s Indicator also reflected an increase in the number of countries where patents were filed compared to 2015.

More than 73% of respondents filed patents in four or more countries — up from 62% in 2015.

With the increased volume of countries targeted, patent filings expanded into new markets led by destinations in South America and Asia.

The overwhelming majority of those (96%) were filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

“Our report shows that regions once considered to be emerging by the global patent community have matured into central patent hubs,” said Justin Simpson, founder of the inovia platform.

“This doesn’t come to us a surprise as almost all of our clients have made Chinaa primary focus over the past several years.

“At the same time, we are seeing new international markets develop as patent filing centers because of shifts in manufacturing centers, research & development and filing costs.

“This highlights the significance of a broad and expansive IP portfolio as companies grow, and we look forward to helping our clients implement smart patent strategies in key regions such as South America, Eastern Europe and Asia.”

Respondents also ranked the importance of certain jurisdictions in their 10-year foreign filing strategies — with the United States taking the top spot for the second year in a row.

Europe, China, Japan and Canada rounded out the top five respectively.

* Results were generated from a survey of 115 international companies and universities conducted by RWS inovia in May 2017.