Signs of recovery, says WIPO

The first green shoots of recovery have now been spotted, pushing their way up through the snowy mountain terrain of Geneva, according to today's media release from Geneva's main attraction, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). According to WIPO,
"A ... report analyzing ... trends in 2008 and 2009 shows that innovative activity and demand for IP rights dipped during the global economic crisis, but began to recover this year. World Intellectual Property Indicators 2010 also documents how the uncertainty associated with the crisis led companies to readjust their innovation strategies.

As the world economy started to slow sharply in 2008, an estimated 1.91 million patent, 3.3 million trademark, and 660,000 industrial design applications were filed across the world. Compared to 2007, these figures represent a slowdown in the growth of patent and industrial design applications and an actual decline in the number of trademark applications.

While the bulk of the report focuses on 2008 data (the last year for which complete worldwide statistics are available), a special section on the economic crisis looks at preliminary IP filing data for 2009 for the largest IP offices. These data reveal a drop in patent, trademark, and industrial design applications at many of these offices. In the majority of cases, non-resident applications were more negatively affected by the crisis than resident applications, suggesting a greater short-term focus on home markets ....

Beyond 2009, there are grounds for optimism as patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system and international trademark registrations filed under the Madrid system have returned to growth....

Data on R&D expenditure compiled for the report show that, on average, companies started to reduce their R&D budgets from early 2009 onward.

Data for publicly listed firms indicate a slowdown in year-on-year growth from 2007 to 2008, but reflect an actual decrease in R&D expenditure between 2008 and 2009 (-1.7%). However, the average hides substantial company-by-company variations (see Figure 1). Several of these companies reported substantial growth in R&D expenditure including a number of pharmaceutical firms.

Among these firms, the majority of automotive (e.g. General Motors, -24.5%, and Toyota, -19.8%), construction and consumer product companies (e.g. Caterpillar, -17.8%, and Unilever, -3.9%) decreased their R&D expenditure. A similar trend is observed for the majority of IT firms with a few exceptions, such as selected Chinese (ZTE, +45 %; and Huawei, +27 %) and US (Apple, +20%; and Microsoft, +10%) companies...."
The media release continues in like vein, replete with tables and diagrams.  All this sounds like good news for the IP community and good news for the world, unless you're in the automotive sector at any rate.
Signs of recovery, says WIPO Signs of recovery, says WIPO Reviewed by Jeremy on Wednesday, September 15, 2010 Rating: 5

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