Patent and trademark application filings are setting an all-time record this year
- Applications filed by small and medium-sized businesses entities increased sharply for the Post-COVID era-
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced that the number of patent and trademark applications filed by the third quarter of 2020 increased by 9.4% (342,697 cases) compared with the same period 2019, a number which sets a record on the basis of equivalent periods. Also, it is seen that among overall applications filed, small and medium-sized businesses’ filings are leading this growth trend.
For all applications, 155,164 cases of patent applications were filed this year, a 3.6% increase compared with the same period last year, and among them, applications filed by small and medium-sized businesses increased by 10.7% as 38,406 cases, which considerably exceeds the growth trend of major companies’ filings (4.2% increase) as well as that of universities and Public Research Institutes’ filings (4.7% increase).
<Patent applications filing status by applicant in 2020>
◆ As of September 2020, the number of patent application filings was about 155,000 cases, which is a 3.6 % increase compared with the same period last year
◆ By applicant, the number of applications filed by small and medium-sized business entities was about 38,000 cases, which is a 10.7% increase as the highest growth trend and which takes the largest portion (24.8%) among applicants.
◆ While all categories of domestic applicants such as major companies, universities/public research institutes and individuals, etc. showed a slight increase, the number of applications filed by foreigners decreased slightly.
Among the entire 187,533 cases of trademark applications (a 14.7% increase), small and medium-sized businesses filings were 62,247 cases, and this set the rapid increase record of a 24.0% increase and maintained the highest growth trend.
<Trademark applications filing status by applicant in 2020>
◆ As of September 2020, the number of trademark application was 187,533 cases, a 14.7% increase compared with the same period last year
◆ By applicant, the number of applications filed by small and medium-sized businesses was 62,000 cases, which is a 24.0% increase as the highest growth trend, and also the applications filed by individuals, which took nearly half of the entire filings, showed a 20.0% increase.
◆ While major companies showed an over 10% increase as well, foreigners’ filings decreased slightly.
The above filing trend could be summarized as ‘Prompt response against COVID-19 pandemic and conversion into a contact free businesses era (we call it the “Untact” era).
First, among patent applications*, biotechnology showed the highest increase at 33.5% (721 cases), and polymer chemistry (214 cases, a 26.6% increase) and medical technology (2,216 cases, 23.5% increase) also showed a high upward trend, reflecting interest in the medical and hygiene fields.
※ The above numerical values were based on the end of August (numerical values for September were not included as no patent classification code for analyzing technical fields has yet been given)
Also, E-commerce fields concerned with the Untact, small and medium-sized businesses filed 3,391 applications in total, which shows that the majority of all applications were related to the E-commerce fields, and simultaneously the applications related to the E-commerce fields increased by 22.7%.
Among trademark application filings, Class 10 which includes medical devices showed the highest increase at 66.2% (2,761 cases) and simultaneously Class 5 which includes pharmaceuticals showed a high increase at 45.0% (4,498 cases). Also, Class 9 which includes audio and visual apparatus and instruments recorded a high increase at 36.3% (7,651 cases), along with an increase in personal broadcasting due to Untact.
The director of the Information & Customer Service Bureau of KIPO stated, “Such growth trend for our small and medium-sized businesses’ filings is very encouraging because it is analyzed to be a positive signal that the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 has been converted into an opportunity for strengthening the competitiveness of intellectual property”, and also announced, “KIPO will continuously release supporting policies in order for domestic enterprises to preempt global intellectual property in promising technology fields for the post-COVID era.”