Japan Highlights in World Intellectual Property Organization report for 2016

The World Intellectual Property Organization’s report World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) is out, with some noteworthy figures for Japan and the United States among other major economic powers in the world for how their inventors fared in 2016.

Patent Filings

In foreign patent filings, Japanese residents closely follow the United States’ in numbers filed (US residents filed 215,918, Japanese residents 191,819). On a per-capita basis, Japan had the second-highest number of filings of any country (behind Germany). This in part reflects the Japanese aims of strengthening Japan’s economy through use of intellectual property and expanding overseas markets and of limited natural resources and an aging populace.

Meanwhile, China continues to outstrip other economies in the raw quantity of patent applications. Its 1.3 million applications in 2016, a 21% increase over 2015 (though per capita, this number is not as high as in some countries such as Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, and the United States). On a global scale, WIPO notes that “Asia’s share of all applications filed worldwide has increased from 49.7% in 2006 to 64.6% in 2016, primarily driven by strong growth in filings in China.” The Asian-Pacific world is indubitably a crucial part of the economic and technological future.

Trademark Filings

In the trademark realm, trademark applications increased by 16% in 2016, and most applications received went to China’s SIPO (3.7 million–but very few were filed abroad), the United States’ USPTO (546,000), and Japan’s JPO (451,000).

Writer: Josiah T. Momose.
(The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. For questions or inquiries, please contact us for more information.)


China Tops Patent, Trademark, Design Filings in 2016.” World Intellectual Property Organization, December 6, 2017.

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