Emerging Markets and the World Patent Order
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Emerging Markets and the World Patent Order

Edited by Frederick M. Abbott, Carlos M. Correa and Peter Drahos

The patent has emerged as a dominant force in 21st century economic policy. This book examines the impact of the BRICS and other emerging economies on the global patent framework and charts the phenomenal rise in the number of patents in some of these countries.
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Chapter 2: Intellectual property activity worldwide – key trends, facts, and figures

Carsten Fink


In 2011, more patents were filed at the patent office of China than at any other office in the world. In the 100 years before 2011, only four patent offices had occupied this position – those of Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union and the United States (US). Before 2011, China already accounted for most filings of utility models, trademarks and industrial designs. The rise of China is probably one of the most significant shifts in the international intellectual property (IP) system in recent history. However, it is not the only shift. The purpose of this chapter is to document the main trends, facts, and figures about intellectual property activity worldwide. In doing so, it intends to provide the context in which firms take decisions on intellectual property and governments adapt intellectual property policies. Invariably, the shifting patterns of IP use described here have far-reaching consequences for knowledge creation, knowledge diffusion, industrial organization, technological progress, economic growth, policy formulation, and IP office operations. This chapter does not explore these consequences, but seeks to provoke others to do so.

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