As policymakers seek to invigorate growth around

the world, it is encouraging to report that intellectual

property (IP) activity saw healthy growth in 2015. Global

patent filings grew by 7.8%, and global trademark filings

by 15.3%. As in previous years, China was the main

driver of growth. From already high levels, patent applications

in China increased by 18.7%, and trademark

applications by 27.4%.

Most other IP offices also recorded growth in patent

and trademark filings. In particular, patent applications

increased by 4.8% at the European Patent Office, 1.8%

in the United States of America (U.S.) and 1.6% in the

Republic of Korea. Among the top five offices, only

Japan saw a decline (-2.2%) in patent filings. Trademark

filing activity increased markedly in Japan and India,

with growth rates of 43.0% and 21.9%, respectively.

The U.S. also registered strong growth of 9.6%, as

did the European Union Intellectual Property Office

(EUIPO) with growth of 9.0%.

Global industrial design activity increased only modestly

at 0.6% in 2015, though this followed a decline of

8.3% in 2014. The U.S. stood out, receiving 13.4% more

designs in 2015 than in 2014. Design activity in other

offices was uneven, with double-digit growth in China,

Hong Kong (SAR), India and the Islamic Republic of Iran

but double-digit declines in the Russian Federation

and Ukraine.

The 2016 edition of WIPO’s World Intellectual Property

Indicators documents these and many other developments

that shaped the global IP system in 2015. This

year’s special theme presents new statistics on the

gender of inventors listed in patent filings under WIPO’s

Patent Cooperation Treaty. It shows that women inventors

are still a minority, even if female participation in

international patenting has increased between 1995

and 2015. However, the share of female inventors varies

across countries and technical fields, with the highest

participation rates in the life science fields.

Readers wishing to go beyond the statistics presented

in this report can use the statistics tools on

the WIPO website ( – especially

the IP Statistics Data Center and the Statistical

Country Profiles.

Finally, I would like to thank our Member States as

well as national and regional IP offices for sharing

their annual statistics with WIPO. Their invaluable

cooperation makes the World Intellectual Property

Indicators possible.

Francis GURRY

Director General


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