A coalition of the world’s five largest patent offices – the IP5 – recently announced the release of the 2013 IP5 Statistics Report. The Report has been designed to facilitate an understanding of operations and patent procedures among the Offices, while providing a means for gauging inventive activity, technology flow, and comparing procedures. The IP5 is comprised of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO).
According to the Report’s Executive Summary, the IP5 Offices granted almost 957,000 patents in 2013 – an increase of 4 percent compared to 2012. In addition, 2.1 million patent applications were filed in the IP5 Offices in 2013, which represents an 11 percent increase over the previous year.
In addition to the report itself, the IP5 offices also provide detailed statistical data sheets for historical numbers of patent application filings going back to the 1980s and patent grants broken down by International Patent Classification (IPC) codes and country of origin. The additional statistical data also includes an office by office comparison of fees associated with the patent process, including those associated with services by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The IP5 Offices, which together handle about 89 percent of the world’s patent applications, began meeting in 2007. They have since worked together to explore ways to further optimize joint efforts to improve quality and efficiency of the examination process and to explore and optimize work sharing opportunities between the Offices.
The IP5 Statistics Report was first released in 1983 as a project of the Trilateral Cooperation –EPO, JPO, and USPTO. In 2008, KIPO joined the effort and the first Four Office Statistics Report was produced. The 2011 IP5 Statistics Report represented a milestone in IP5 cooperation, encompassing the full cooperation of all the IP5 Offices including SIPO. The IP5 Offices intends to continue holding discussions on statistics and improving IP5 cooperation for next year’s Statistics Report. The 2013 report is available to the public on the IP5 website: www.fiveipoffices.org/statistics/statisticsreports/2013edition.html.