The World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, has published its data providing information on the number and status of patent, trademark and design applications filed through WIPO in 2020.
According to WIPO data, a noticeable increase in international patent applications has been observed despite the pandemic. With a total of 275,900 applications, a 4% increase was achieved compared to the previous year. The two countries with the highest number of patent applications in 2020 are China and the USA.
There was a slight decrease in trademark applications with the effect of the global pandemic. In 2020, trademark applications decreased by 0.6% compared to the previous year, remaining at 63,800. It was stated that this decline was the first to be seen since the 2008-2009 economic crisis.
The pandemic hit design applications the most. Design applications made through WIPO in 2020 closed the year with 18,580 applications, a 15% decrease compared to the previous year.
Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, patent applications did not slow down in 2020. China-based telecom giant Huawei Technologies has become the top filing company of 2020 with 5,464 PCT applications. Huawei was followed by Samsung Electronics with 3,093 applications, Mitsubishi Electric Corp. with 2,810 applications, and LG Electronics Inc. with 2,759 applications.
The University of California continues to be at the top among educational institutions in 2020 with 559 published applications.
Among the areas of technology, 9.2% of the patent applications were made in the scope of computer technology, 8.3% digital communication, 6.6% medical technology and 6.6% electrical machinery.
In 2020, the country with the highest number of international trademark applications using WIPO’s Madrid System was the USA with 10,005 applications, followed by Germany (7,334), China (7,075) and France (3,716).
On the basis of companies, the highest number of applications in 2020 belongs to the Swiss company Novartis AG with 233 applications. Novartis AG is followed by Huawei Technologies of China (197), Shiseido Company of Japan (130), ADP Gauselmann of Germany (123) and L’Oréal of France (115).
In international applications received by WIPO, the most applied class was the class 9 (computer hardware and software and other electrical or electronic devices, etc.), which makes up 10.6% of the 2020 total. It was followed by the class 35, which covers trade-related services and class 42, which covers the technological services. The fastest growth compared to previous years was within the scope of the class 10 referring to surgical, medical, dental and veterinary apparatus and the class 5 covering pharmaceuticals and other preparations for medical purposes
Despite a significant decrease, Germany continued to be the largest user of the international design system, with 3,666 designs. The USA took the second place with 2,211 applications. Switzerland (1,944 designs), the Republic of Korea (1,669) and Italy (1,231) rank third, fourth and fifth respectively.
Altough a significant reduction is seen in total application, US (+ 62.7%), Turkey (+ 34.7%) and China (+ 22.7%) recorded growth in 2020.
In design applications, Samsung Electronics has the highest rank with 859 applications. This was followed by Procter & Gamble (623), Fonkel Meubelmarketing (569), Volkswagen (524) and Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software (516).
Transport-related designs (10.1%) accounted for the largest share of total designs in 2020. Then recording and communication equipment (8.8%); packages and containers (8.4%); furniture (7.4%); and lighting fixtures (6.9%) were the product group with the highest number of design applications.
Among the top 10 classes, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products recorded significant growth in 2020.