Facts, Figures, Tools and Widgets

It seems that September is rapidly turning into the month of facts, figures, tools and assorted widgets. Last week the Kat reported on WIPO’s publication of their World Intellectual Property Indicators 2010. Earlier, he brought you the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s enthralling Data Visualization Center, and the World Economic Forum's titillating “Global Competitiveness Report”.

Now the Kat brings news of another webtool that is so good it required two press releases this morning. Thus, WIPO has today announced the launch of WIPO Lex, described as:

"an on-line global intellectual property (IP) reference resource which provides up-to-date information on national IP laws and treaties. This centralized search facility, which offers a user-friendly interface and functionalities, is in line with one of the Organization’s strategic goals, namely to serve as a world reference source for IP information and analysis."

WIPO Lex claims one-stop access to all of the IP legal texts for over 60 countries (67 by this Kat's count) with substantial coverage for a further 100 legal systems. WIPO explains:

"WIPO Lex will be integrated into WIPO GOLD which was launched earlier this year and provides quick and easy on-line access to a broad collection of searchable IP data and tools relating to, for example, technology, brands, designs, statistics, WIPO standards, and IP classification systems."

A dip into WIPO Lex will be sure to fulfil the IP desires of even the most fact obsessed. Tidbits from the toolshed include the fact that Greece apparently has the most national IP laws of any of the 67 countries for which a complete listing is available, with a whopping 230 in total (most are ministerial decisions relating to geographical indications). The UK is next with 150, followed by China (135) and Ireland (134). However, if you have a burning desire to find out what it is about the laws of Puerto Rico that caused it to appear at number 8 in the World Economic Forum's "Global Competitiveness Report" ranking of the states offering the best IP protection, then you will be sorely disappointed, as it does not appear as a separate entity in WIPO's database and instead falls under the United States' mighty umbrella.

The Kat also brings news of the EPO's publication last week of the regional breakdown of the origin of the European applications filed in 2009 for the EPC contracting states and other major countries. The file arrives in a modest 230(ish)KB Excel spreadsheet, optimised for offline digital manipulation, and is available here.

The remainder of the statistics for 2009 are to be found here.

Earlier this month, the UKIPO also released a web-based tool to assist applicants in assessing the likely timeframe in which they can expect to receive an examination report.

Noting that “we are acutely aware that our levels of unprocessed patent examinations are higher than they should be”, the IPO offers a tool that operates along vaguely the same lines as the USPTO’s patent dashboard (although it must be said that it suffers from classic British understatement when compared to the USPTO’s rather jazzier offering). The IPO explains that: “The calculator … gives an indication of when you might expect to receive your first examination report. Information is available only for applications where examination has been requested (Form 10 filed) and the application has been published. Applicants requiring information about unpublished applications should contact the IPO.”

So the wait to find out how long you might reasonably be expected to wait before wondering whether you have been waiting for too long, is finally over…

Find the tool here

Facts, Figures, Tools and Widgets Facts, Figures, Tools and Widgets Reviewed by Matt on Monday, September 20, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. RE: EPO's regional breakdown

    Sigh... Yet another file issued by the EPO in a Microsoft format, but at least it can be opened in OpenOffice.

    I consider the data to be however rather meaningless because of the dominance of applications filed by multinational businesses. For example the high counts given for Noord-Brabant and Oberbayern are related to the presence in these areas of the Philips and Siemens HQs respectively, rather than the existence of any particular inventive knack of their residents. (Ditto for Armonk or Redmond) Priority data or the inventors' addresses might represent more useful indicators, but I often ask myself how it could be possible that a given (simple) invention might be conceived by a plurality of people located in different countries or even in different continents.

    The proportionally high figure from areas like Liechtenstein, (and to a lesser extent Switzerland) is also more a testimony to these countries' tax laws than the innate creativity of their inhabitants.

  2. ... and to find out why you have to wait so long, see the July 2009 IPO Steering Board minutes at http://www.ipo.gov.uk/steer-minutes-20090721.pdf esp. paragraph 9 onwards.


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