A report from the World Intellectual Property Organization, a United Nations agency, showed patent filings worldwide increased at a greater rate in 2012 than at any time in the last 18 years. Patent filings grew by 9.2 percent worldwide in 2012, with China at the head of this development as the country with the most filings and as the most popular destination for filing patents. China's State Intellectual Property Office saw an increase of 24 percent in patent filings in 2012.
Other countries also saw an increase in patents filed. New Zealand patent filings increased 14.3 percent, Mexico's increased by 9 percent and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office experienced a 7.8 percent gain.
The types of patents filed also differed between countries. For example, both China and Russia had the greatest gains in patents for material metallurgy, while Brazil saw a sharp rise in basic materials chemistry patent filings. Germany, France and Sweden received many applications for transport technologies, and Japan, Singapore and South Korea handled the most applications for semiconductor patents.
The highest proportion of computer and medical technologies patents were filed in the U.S. and in Israel. Belgium, India and Switzerland received the most applications for patents in organic fine chemistry.