Led by a 5.5% growth in local patent filings in India and China, innovators around the world filed 3.4 million patent applications in 2021, up 3.6% from the previous year, the annual World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) shows. The Republic of Korea (+2.5%) is the third Asian country that showed significant growth in patent filings. Local patenting activity in the U.S. (-1.2%), Japan (-1.7%) and Germany (-3.9%) declined in 2021.

India received 61,573 patent applications in 2021, up from 56,771 in 2020. Almost 43% of the Indian patent applications were local, and filed by resident applicants.

While China saw 1,585,663 filings, 88,504 more patent applications than it did in 2020, India’s patent office received 4,802 more patent applications in 2021 than the previous year. The Republic of Korea (11,239 additional applications) and the European Patent Office (EPO) (8,432), and South Africa (4,272) also made notable contributions to overall growth.

The report indicates that 57.3% of the patent applications filed in India were by non-resident applicants. The share of non-resident applicants was significantly high for patent offices of Australia (90.8%), Canada (87.3%), the EPO (55.6%), the United States of America (US) (55.7%), Brazil (80.7%), Indonesia (84.1%), Mexico (93.1%) and Singapore (86.1%). Incidentally, 18.5% of total published applications in India were related to pharmaceuticals.

India registered a 16.5% growth in patent grants in 2021, though the percentage of pending patent applications shot up 91.5% during the same period.

India saw 4,88,526 trademark applications being filed during the year, a 6.7% increase as compared to 2020. About 65% of the worldwide trademark filings in 2021 happened in China, the US, the EU, India and the UK. In India, the three regions that contributed to 42.4% of non-resident trademark filing in Indian offices were the US, China and Germany.

The applications for design registrations have also seen an increase in India in 2021. The three offices where growth was strongest in design registrations were the UK (+128.5%), India (+67.6%) and Mexico (+38.4%), the report said. Growth in resident designs was particularly strong at the offices of India, it noted.

The WIPI compiles the latest data from some 150 national and regional intellectual property offices across the world. Applications to secure intellectual property rights over plant varieties and geographical indications are also covered in the report.

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