14 January 2021
The world's five largest IP offices granted 1.6 million patents in 2019, an increase of 5.9% on the previous year, according to the latest IP5 Statistics Report published earlier this week on the IP5 website.
The report is an annual compilation of patent statistics published by the European Patent Office, the Japan Patent Office, the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the China National Intellectual Property Administration and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
In total, 2.7 million patent applications were filed at the IP5 offices in 2019, a decrease of 4% on 2018, but at the level of filings in 2017. In 2019 applications rose at KIPO (+4.3%), the EPO (+4.1%) and the USPTO (+4.1%), while falling at the JPO (-1.8%) and CNIPA (-9.2%).
All of the IP5 offices reported an increase in the number of patents granted in 2019, except for the JPO.
At the EPO, the number of granted patents increased to nearly 138 000 in 2019 from under 128 000 in 2018. The average pendency time to first action (delivery of the search report plus written opinion on patentability) fell from 6.5 months to 5.5 months, and pendency to final action (final decision by the examining division to grant or refuse an application) fell from 31.8 months to 28.1 months. This progress was partly thanks to reforms implemented under the Office's quality and efficiency strategy, which prioritised examination work and increased productivity.
The IP5 Statistics Report 2019 also includes developments at the five offices, similarities and differences in their patent grant procedures, as well as comprehensive worldwide data from WIPO and patent offices around the globe, up to and including 2018.
At the end of 2018, 91% of the 13.9 million patents in force worldwide were valid in one of the IP5 offices' jurisdictions.
The IP5 offices have been co-operating since 2007 to improve the efficiency and quality of the global patent system by delivering joint products and services.
The EPO will publish its 2020 statistics (Patent Index 2020) in March 2021.