In 2019, overall patent applications increased by 2% to 74,652 cases. Of these, invention patent has grown for three consecutive years (grew by 2% in 2019). Design patent rose by 9%, while the decrease in utility model patent applications narrowed. On trademark applications, 86,794 cases were filed, the highest since 2001. As to examination efficiency, the average disposal pendency was shortened to below 14 months and 7 months for invention patent applications and trademark applications respectively. This stable and reasonable pendency was maintained to provide applicants with fast and high-quality examination services.
Of overall patent applications, both invention patents (48,268 cases) and design patents (8,804 cases) were up; the decrease of utility model patents (17,580 cases) narrowed to 2% from 8% in 2018.
Invention patent applications (18,984 cases) filed by residents hit a 5-year high. This was due to a 6% rise in the number of applications filed by corporations and those by large enterprises (+6%) and small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) (+7%) also saw growth. Utility models (16,412 cases) and design patents (4,208 cases) dropped by 1% from last year. As for non-residents’ applications, invention patents (29,284 cases) rose by 1% and design patents (4,596 cases) grew by 20%.
Breakdown by applicants’ nationality, Japan continued to top with 14,598 overall applications, followed by the US (7,437 cases) and mainland China (3,698 cases). Hong Kong (1,282 cases) attained double-digit growth, climbing to the fifth place and replacing Germany. Japan also led in the number of invention and design patent applications, and mainland China outnumbered other countries in utility model applications.
In trademark, the number of applications (86,794 cases) hit a record high in 19 years. This was due mainly to a 3% increase in resident applications (61,928 cases). Applicants by non-residents (24,866 cases) remained relatively the same as last year.
Among the top 5 trademark filing countries (regions), mainland China (6,108 cases) took the lead, followed by Japan (4,748 cases) and the US (3,621 cases). Applications filed by Korea (1,668 cases) and mainland China were up by 16% and 6% respectively, while those by Japan remained relatively the same as last year.
Of residents’ trademark applications, Nice class 35 (advertisements and business operation) topped with 11,040 cases, followed by class 43 (restaurants and lodgings; 6,620 cases) and class 30 (coffee, tea, and pastry; 6,235 cases). Applications filed by the top 5 classes all saw a growth by 2%-6%. Among resident applicants, UNI-PRESIDENT ranked first with 432 cases, followed by TAICHUNG CITY GOVERNMENT (360 cases).
Of non-residents’ trademark applications, class 9 (computer and technology products) led with 4,761 cases, followed by class 35 (advertisements and business operation; 3,239 cases) and class 3 (cosmetics and detergents; 2,902 cases) Among non-resident applicants, HUAWEI led with 166 cases, followed by LINE with 138 cases.
As invention patent and trademark applications had both increased, TIPO went at full throttle to step up examination efficiency. As a result, the average disposal pendency was 13.6 months for invention patent applications and 6.7 months for trademark applications. Pending applications for both invention patent and trademark applications were maintained at about 48,000 cases to help businesses quickly obtain IP rights and begin developing portfolios.