Development of IP Applications during the Corona Pandemic

In the past Corona pandemic year 2020, 13.5% more trademarks were registered at the German Patent and Trademark Office than in the previous year 2019. This many trademarks have not been filed in Germany for 20 years. By comparison, the number of patent applications in Germany dropped by 7.9%. Patent applications in Japan and the USA also declined in 2020. Interestingly, many applicants resorted to the patent’s little sister, the utility model, with the result that there was a 5.6% increase in utility model applications in Germany in 2020. It is worth noting that the number of applications for German utility models filed by Chinese applicants rose sharply.

Compared to German IP applications, filing figures in the area of European patent applications declined only slightly by 0.7% compared to the previous year of 2019. The fields of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology had the highest number of applications. As a result, the field of medical technology in 2020 moved into the top spot for digital communications from 2019.

The top 50 patent filing countries were also unchanged in ranking in the 2020 pandemic year. For example, the U.S. led the ranking with the most patent applications, followed by Germany, Japan, China and France. The strongest growth in applicants was recorded by China and South Korea.

June 17, 2021
Vanessa Bockhorni
Patent Attorney