According to the latest IPR statistics released by TIPO, the number of patent backlogs dropped to less than 160,000 (159,467) prior to the end of Q3 2012. Patent applications filed domestically decreased by 4.79%, while those filed by foreigners increased by 4.16%. Trademark applications filed by both ROC nationals and foreigners have shown a significant increase by 4.97%. Among foreign applicants, Japan continued to claim the top spot in both invention patent and trademark applications.
TIPO is pleased to report that its continued dedication has led to improved patent examination efficiency. In the first nine months of 2012, the number of decisions of invention patent totaled 32,832, which not only accounts for a boom of 24.5% over the same period in 2011, but also exceeds the number of requests for substantive examination (31,820), thereby leading to a drop in the number of backlogs to less than 160,000 (159,467) prior to the end of Q3 2012. Meanwhile, average pendency for invention patent applications was slightly reduced to 46.51 months from the maximum of 46.52 months (Table 1). Moreover, office actions in Q1-Q3 2012 totaled 37,671, which is an impressive 31.7% increase over the same period in 2011 (28,607), therein the average first action pendency witnessed a gradual decline from 41.37 months in Q1 to 40.25 months in Q3 2012.
On the other hand, due to the global economic slowdown, only 20,636 patent applications were filed in Q3 2012, which represents a 1.45% decrease from the same period in 2011. Of these, applications filed by ROC nationals totaled 12,496, or a 4.79% decrease from the same period last year. The filing figures of domestic invention, utility model and design patent applications have all shown a decline, therein invention applications filed totaled 5,380, accounting for the biggest drop of 6.08%. At the same time, the number of patent applications filed by foreigners totaled 8,140, or a 4.16% increase over Q3 2011. Of these, the number of invention applications totaled 7,042, accounting for an increase of 4.56%. The growth indicates the eagerness with which foreign industries develop portfolios and innovative technologies in Taiwan.
Among foreign countries filing invention patent applications in Taiwan, Japan ranked first in Q3 2012 with 3,187 applications. The annual growth rate of Japan’s invention patent applications filed up until Q3 2012 was 6.13%, which indicates the country’s increasingly close IPR relationship with Taiwan. The United States (1,882) and South Korea (430) ranked second and third, respectively.
Furthermore, an analysis of the rankings among foreign industries with respect to their invention patent applications in Q3 2012 reveals that both the U.S. and Japan claimed the top 10 spots and semiconductor manufacturers such as Intel Corporation and Tokyo Electron Ltd. both topped the list with 109 applications. Apple Inc. (104) leaped to the third place in Q3 2012 from the 25th in 2011, which accounts for an impressive growth of 103.9%. An overview of Japan’s invention patent applications (top 6 in 2011 and top 10 in Q3 2012) indicates that industries of the country have attached considerable importance to the Taiwan market. In contrast, Qualcomm Incorporated, which used to be on the top spot, has over the last two years decreased their applications in Taiwan, ranking merely 20th with 49 applications in Q3 2012. This seems to imply that development in the semiconductor industry exceeds that in the digital communications industry, thus meriting further observation in the following quarters. With respect to invention patent applications filed by domestic industries, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. (602) continued to be the champion in the third quarter, far surpassing those of the Wistron Corp. (145), ranked second, and Industrial Technology Research Institute (138), ranked third.
As for trademark, applications filed in Q3 2012 totaled 18,619, or a 4.97% growth over the same period in 2011. Of these, domestic filings totaled 13,880, and 4,739 by foreigners. Among the top three foreign trademark filing countries, Japan continued to claim the top spot with 1,042 applications, followed by the U.S. (939) and mainland China (685).