Pout = patent applications filed abroad
Pin = patent applications received from abroad.
- early in its development a country receives more patents than it files abroad: but it does not receive many because it is not an interesting place to invest in;
- as it develops, it receives more patents as it becomes a more attractive place to do business in;
- as it develops still further, it starts to generate more patents and its balance of patents improves.
where Phome = number of national filings by residents in that country
- the number of patent filings by residents;
- the number of patent filings by non-residents;
- the number of patent filings abroad.
The smallest seeming change is that of China. However, Chinese patent applications accounted for over a quarter of all patent applications in 2012 [~28%] and are increasing rapidly.
The increase in Chinese patent applications can be seen graphically below
|Growth in Chinese patent filings [excludes utility models]|
The situation looks even more interesting when account is taken of utility models. The following shows the proportion of world utility models filed in various countries by nationals of those countries with "Others" being all other utility model filings.
|Domestic utility model filings as percentage of world utility model filings|
To a large extent, the utility model system is Chinese.
Looking to the total of utility models and patents, China accounted for nearly 45% of world filings in 2012.
Looked at on a GDP basis, China has ~19% of world GDP and ~45% of world patent and design filings in its territory. Is it over patented?
At the start of this post I mentioned the mercantilist desire to keep Johnny Foreigner in his place. Getting your domestic industry to file a lot of patents in your domestic market might be a way to keep Johnny Foreigner out of your home market. Does this explain the rapid growth in Chinese applications by Chinese applicants?
Lastly, to simply all of the above guff, it might be as well to plot countries or regions on a ternary plot. The following shows the above mentioned regions plotted as a time series. Where does your country sit and where is it going?
|Patent filings - time series|