Wednesday, March 14, 2012

International patent filings set new record

Earlier this month, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released its report on patent filings during 2011, which showed record-setting growth of more than 10 percent over 2010 in PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) filings. On a national basis, South Korea ranked fifth in the world, as shown in the accompanying graphic (click to see a full-size version). Only the United States, Japan, Germany and China recorded more filings. China overtook Korea for fourth place in patent filings in 2010. The WIPO report also showed that the Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE was the largest single patent filer in the world. Worldwide, the top ranking companies were all electronics and telecommunications firms. LG Electronics ranked 8th and Samsung Electronics 15th on the list.
As shown in the second accompanying graphic, Korean universities also had a very respectable presence in the rankings. KAIST, where I now teach, ranked fifth internationally behind the University of California, MIT, the University of Texas System and Johns Hopkins University. KAIST had 103 PCT applications published in 2011 and it was followed closely by Seoul National University, which had 99. Korea University ranked 17th and a number of other Korean universities showed up in the rankings.
Significantly, when PCT applications are ranked by fields of technology, the top ten fields are all within the general area of digital information, computing and communications technologies.

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