What Were the Top Global IP Trends for 2011?

Two recent reports released by Thompson Reuters offer some interesting insight into global intellectual property trends that emerged last year. The two reports, 2011 State of Innovation: Twelve Key Technology Areas and Their States of Innovation and 2011 Trademark Report: Trademark Activity, Evolution and Important Changes, track patent and trademark activity in key technology areas and economies around the world.

Key findings from the two reports include:

  • Domestic Appliance & Medical Device Patent Volumes Rise: Patent volume in the domestic appliances and medical devices technology sectors both grew by 12 percent from 2010 and 2011, with a total of 41,189 and 58,592 inventions, respectively, in the last year alone. The next largest growth sector was in Telecommunications, which grew by five percent.
  • Alternative Power Vehicle Technology Goes Global: The auto industry’s greatest single source of new patent activity was alternate powered vehicles, with 19,078 new patents filed globally in 2011, an increase of 20 percent from 2010. The top patent assignees in key world markets were Toyota (Asia), Daimler (Europe) and General Motors (United States).
  • Biotech Debuts on Top Twelve List: Researchers at Thomson Reuters identified the biotech sector as a hot growth area, adding the category to their list of bellwether technology areas for the first time in 2011. Over 25,000 biotech patents were filed worldwide in 2011 in categories that include drug discovery, cancer treatment, diagnosis of diseases and genetically modified crops.
  • Brand Protection in China Continues to Lead World: Among the key developed and emerging-markets nations, China continues to see significant trademark filing activity. Despite a lag time in Chinese data reporting, over 600,000 trademarks were filed in China as of mid-December 2011, far outpacing levels seen in the U.S., Europe, Brazil, India and South Korea.

The full State of Innovation report is available here: 2011 State of Innovation: Twelve Key Technology Areas and Their States of Innovation. You can view the full report Trademark report here: 2011 Trademark Report: Trademark Activity, Evolution and Important Changes.

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