Overall Patent Filings Drop in 2009, but Nanotechnology-Related Patents Remain Strong
WIPO reports declines in patent activity due to global economic factors, but nanotech patents one of few areas to see increase
International patent filings data for 2009 from the World Intellectual Property Association note a 4.5% decrease, yet the decrease was not as sharp as initially predicted by the WIPO.
Amongst the Top 10 largest corporate filers, four were Japanese companies: Panasonic (1), NEC Corporation (8), Toyota (9), and Sharp (10). The University of California was the top educational institution for patent applications. Asian countries continue to increase their patent activity, most notably Korea and China.
According to the WIPO release, the largest patent growth rates were experienced in micro-structural and nanotechnology (+10.2%), semiconductors (+10%) and thermal processes and apparatus (+ 7.2%). Declines were highest in the areas related to computer technology, pharmaceuticals, and medical technology.