International patent filings under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) grew by 2.4% in 2008, to nearly 164,000 applications, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). While the rate of growth was not as high as it was during the previous three years, when the average growth rater of applications was 9.3%, the total number of PCT applications filed during 2008 represents the highest number of applications received under the PCT in any single year. Thus, while the world struggles with a global economic crisis, those companies that depend on patent protection to solidify and maintain their dominant market positions continue to file patent applications to protect their innovations.
At a time when many are questioning the benefit in filing patent applications and suggesting to independent inventors, entrepreneurs and small businesses that it just doesn’t make sense to file a patent application, large corporations around the world obviously feel otherwise. If your goal is to establish and grow your company do you think you should be listening to those who attempt to persuade you that patents are not very important, or would you rather follow the lead of those companies with dominant market positions? As a rule of thumb I would always tend to follow the lead of those who are successful and question with great skepticism those who tell you what you want to hear. While patents can no doubt be expensive to obtain their benefit is clear, as evidences by increased patent applications by giant corporations that are built on innovative products and services.
Continued use of international patent applications filed pursuant to the PCT indicates that companies recognize the importance of sustained investment in research, development and innovation to remain competitive even during challenging economic times. In fact, the reality is that during troubled times companies that cut research and development, or patent activities, will find that their ability to compete severely and substantially compromised once the downturn or recession is over.
According to Mr. Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO:
Historically, patent filings tend to dip during periods of economic difficulty simply because fewer resources are available for investment in the innovation cycle. Once the economic cycle improves, patenting activity tends also to recover. That said, economic crises have, in the past, been a catalyst for innovation as greater emphasis is placed on improving standards of efficiency, doing more with less and identifying and developing smarter business solutions. In the current economic climate, technology, innovation and creativity are critical in creating opportunities for economic renewal and addressing pressing global issues such as climate change.”
Top 50 PCT Applicants in 2008
|Rank||Applicant’s Name||Origin||Published Applications|
|1||HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES CO., LTD.||CN||1737|
|3||KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS ELECTRONICS N.V.||NL||1551|
|4||TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA||JP||1364|
|5||ROBERT BOSCH GMBH||DE||1273|
|8||LG ELECTRONICS INC.||KR||992|
|9||TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET LM ERICSSON (PUBL)||SE||984|
|13||SHARP KABUSHIKI KAISHA||JP||814|
|17||INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION||US||664|
|18||3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES COMPANY||US||663|
|19||SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.||KR||639|
|20||E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS AND COMPANY||US||517|
|21||MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION||JP||503|
|23||HEWLETT-PACKARD DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, L.P.||US||493|
|26||ELECTRONICS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS RESEARCH||KR||443|
|27||THE PROCTER & GAMBLE COMPANY||US||412|
|29||SONY ERICSSON MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS AB||SE||402|
|30||BSH BOSCH UND SIEMENS HAUSGERÄTE GMBH||DE||393|
|33||DAIKIN INDUSTRIES, LTD.||JP||367|
|34||THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA||US||343|
|35||HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC.||US||339|
|39||GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY||US||326|
|40||TEXAS INSTRUMENTS INCORPORATED||US||308|
|42||EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY||US||299|
|43||BAKER HUGHES INCORPORATED||US||295|
|45||APPLE COMPUTER, INC.||US||289|
|46||FRAUNHOFER-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FÖRDERUNG||DE||287|
|47||DOW GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES INC.||US||285|
|49||THE BOEING COMPANY||US||281|
|50||CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA||JP||280|
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2 comments so far.
LeroyMay 1, 2010 01:34 am
Siemens and Samsung are competing both in the electronics and telecomms industry which of the two Patents have a larger client database and market share ?
MaxDreiFebruary 19, 2009 02:36 am
Mr Quinn, am I right that the data is of WO publications in calendar 2008? The WO publishes 18 months after the filing date. So, how much comfort can you legitimately draw, about filings in Q4 2008, from data on the number of 2008 WO’s? Now me, I am expecting many of those WO’s not to make it into the national phase. How about you?