Patent Filings as Indicator

But, of what, exactly? Demand for patents falling as crisis bites: WIPO (pdf)

“The best inventions are patented internationally and not just nationally and so enterprises focus in time of economic difficulty on promoting their best inventions and are less inclined to patent across the whole of the output of their research and development,” Gurry said.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which had issued the highest number of patents since 1998, was overtaken in 2007 by the patent office of Japan, and China’s patent office replaced the European Patent Office as the fourth largest in terms of granting patents, WIPO said in a statement.

Rates of increase for patent applications are growing faster in China and South Korea than in Japan, the United States and Europe, Gurry said.

Because final data are only available up to 2007, it is not possible to say which sectors are currently attracting most patent and trademark activity.

The report: World Intellectual Property Indicators [local]