Country specializations by field of invention

Despite the presence of global trends, different countries are focusing on the development of technologies in certain areas. We can say that certain states have developed patent specializations. We will talk about this phenomenon today.

What are the top 5 applicants of past years specializing in?

WIPO reports traditionally count in which areas of patenting which countries are doing the most. The diagram below contains data from IP Facts and Figures Reports for 2016 and 2022. They reflect specializations between 2012 and 2014 (left) and from 2018 to 2020 (right).

During this time, interest in patenting developments in computer technology has only increased – this area was the leader only in the United States, and now it is a priority in three countries out of five. Interest in electrical equipment is also maintained. Significantly decreased activity in medical technology, digital communications and optics.

At the same time, active registration of trademarks is observed in completely different areas. A comparison of brand distribution schemes by spheres from the same reports is presented below.

Also according to WIPO data, in 2011, the leading applicant countries accounted for 80% of all applications for inventions from the field of alternative energy. At the same time, a third of all applications and half of applications for photovoltaic patents came from Japan. The other four countries that differ in alternative energy patents are the US, Germany, South Korea and France.

The diagram below shows with which countries the most compensated agreements on the transfer of “green” technologies were concluded.

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What are the EU countries specializing in?

In the scheme, Germany is singled out separately from WIPO, although in general, applications from the European Patent Office in 2021 were received almost 3 times more. Previously, in 2009, a significant share of EU countries’ spending was on the pharmaceutical industry, machinery and equipment, vehicles and radio-video communications. At the same time, expenditures on measuring systems and telecommunications grew in Finland, in Sweden – on machine tool building and medical equipment, and in Germany – on mechanical engineering and transport in general (in 2018-2020 this area ranked first).

Data for key areas for 2021 for the Eurozone are presented in the chart below. However, when considering it, it should be taken into account that the top five applicants for European patents were Huawei (China), Samsung (South Korea), LG (South Korea), Ericsson (Sweden), Siemens (Germany). That is, the top three leading applicants are foreign technology firms.

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Other countries from the TOP 10 applicants in 2021


In 2021, India ranked sixth in the number of patent applications, an increase of 8.5% compared to the previous year. Distribution of successfully issued patents in the period from 2017-2018 to 2021-2022 submitted in the diagram below.

It is important to bear in mind that according to WIPO statistics, in 2021, applications from non-residents of India were submitted by 26% more than from residents. Another 28% of all patents were foreign applications. However, the share of resident applications is increasing significantly, with a 100% increase from 2017 to 2021.

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Canada ranked eighth in 2021, with a 7.5% increase in applications from its side compared to 2020. In the diagram below, the distribution patents issued in 2021-2022 compared to their number in 2018-2019. As can be seen, the number of granted patents has decreased markedly for all positions.

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Australia ranked only ninth among 2021 patent applicants, but posted the largest increase of all countries, at 10.6%. See which areas there were the most registrations in 2021, you can see the diagram below. The number of non-resident applications is 10 times higher than applications from residents.

In general, the specifications of Australia can be called one of the most prominent. In two categories – pharmaceuticals and computer technology – the increase in applications for 2021 amounted to 27% at once. At the same time, despite the fact that the first two in terms of the number of applications are international applicants – LG and Huawei, computer technology occupies only the fifth place, and medicine and chemistry remain in the first positions.

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Russian Federation

Russia in 2021 ranked tenth in terms of the number of applications, but in general their number fell by as much as 11.5%. Patent applications in Russia are filed predominantly residents of the country. Among non-resident applications in 2021, the United States, China, Germany, Japan and Switzerland were in the lead. Last annual report Rospatent with data for 2021 contains a table with the distribution of applications for registration of inventions by IPC (International Patent Classification) classes. The diagram below shows the 5 predominant classes with transcripts.

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In general, among countries with a high level of patent activity on the part of both local citizens and non-residents, interest in digital technologies and pharmaceuticals prevails. This is not surprising given the high demand in these areas and their relative profitability.

In countries with a developed automotive industry (Germany, India), the distribution of patents by region fully confirms the active development of this industry so far. The significant predominance of patents from the chemical industry reflects, among other things, the peculiarities of the patent system of the country offering advantages for chemical-based inventions.

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