Intellectual Property – The Key to Economic Success
‘WIPO’ stands for ‘World Intellectual Property Organization’ and is one of 17 specialized agencies of the United Nations. The main purpose of WIPO – founded is 1967 in the ‘Nobel prize’ town of Stockholm – is to encourage creative activity and to promote the protection of ‘intellectual property’ worldwide. WIPO has 188 members-states and is headquartered in Geneva.
Common types of ‘Intellectual property’-rights are trademarks, copyright, patents, industrial design rights, discoveries, inventions or artistic works like music or literature.
With the global economy switching more and more from the industrial- to the knowledge based age, the creation of trademarks, patents or inventions are of utmost importance for a country or a company’s future.
Therefore, it could be useful to have a closer look at the just published new filings for ‘Intellectual Property’-rights in the 3 categories ‘Trademark’, ‘Patents’ and ‘Designs’:
A ‘Trademark‘ identifies the brand owner of a particular product or service: The top-3 countries in this category are the United States, Germany and France. Filings by companies are led by swiss pharma-giant Novartis followed by german retailer Lidl and french cosmetic corporation L’Oreal.
A ‘Patent‘ is a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention. In 2015, the WIPO registered 218’000 international patent applications, with ‘Computer Technology’ and ‘Digital Communication’ beeing the largest numbers of filings.
While the US is also the leader in this category, one can observe a remarkable development from Asia.
The top countries in 2015 were the US, Japan and China followed by Germany, South Korea, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Sweden.
According to WIPO-Director Francis Gurry, Asia accounted for 43 percent of the patent-applications in 2015, which is “quite an extraordinary figure.” The rise of Asia is confirmed with chinese telecom-equipment companies Huawei and ZTE (both headquatered in Shenzhen) as number 1 and 3 among corporations worldwide, who filed the most patents in 2015.
The international applications for industrial design grew by 40 percent in 2015. Top countries were Germany, Switzerland and France. The table is led by Samsung of South Korea and Swatch of Switzerland.
The ‘Intellectual-Property’- figures are one of the most important drivers of future economic growth and success. And it seems the gap between countries will widen even more, if one compares the 57’385 US-applications, the 44’235 from Japan or the 18’172 from Germany with the numbers for developing countries such as Kenya (11), Peru (25) Iran (71) or Venezuela (0). Even Brazil (547) Russia (792) or India (1492) are far behind.
By far not each patent or industrial design submitted for a filing will result in a economic success, but one thing is for sure: any country – Romania included – that is not sufficiently supporting the emerge of intellectual property as trademarks, patents or designs will lose capable citizens to other nations (brain drain) and is getting less attractive for Foreign Direct Investments.
The key to economic success requires – more than ever – a whole infrastructural ecosystem from the education system through business sophistication and a deep commitment to ‘Research & Development’. As outlined in an earlier chapter, Romania is doing very poorly in this field: research & development – investments accounts of only 0,38% of GDP, the lowest within the EU.
Find here who filed the most PCT Patent applications in 2015.
Find here who filed the most Madrid Trademark applications in 2015.
Find here who accounted for the most Hague Design filings in 2015.