Eye on IP
Vol. No. 2012
Monday, May 07, 2012
U.S. Global Patent & IP Trends Indicator Reveals Cautious Optimism
Inovia, the leading foreign filing platform provider, recently released its annual report, "The 2012 U.S. Global Patent & IP Trends Indicator." The report, which surveyed 150 companies and universities about their foreign IP filing strategies, revealed that the mood in the intellectual property industry is cautiously optimistic for 2012.
Fewer respondents experienced IP budget cuts and a greater percentage either added to in-house counsel or outsourced IP tasks in order to cut costs and retain control, according to the report. However, respondents do not expect to increase the number of patent families filed in 2012, perhaps indicating that they are cautious about their ability to do more with less while waiting for the economic recovery to gain traction.
The majority of respondents cited U.S. patent reform, particularly the change to a first to file system, as the most important topic for the IP industry in 2011.
Going forward, topics cited as key trends for 2012 were:
- USPTO reform/implications of the America Invents Act
- Reducing examination time in the USPTO
- Containing patenting costs/doing more with less resources
- Global harmonization of IP practices/unified European patent system
- IP enforcement concerns
The report also highlighted the growing need for international patent protection. In total, 42% of respondents filed more than half of their patent applications overseas in 2011, with nearly all (99%) of the respondents using the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) for their foreign filing in 2011.
The report found that 21% of respondents filed into new countries in 2011 (versus 17% of respondents who added countries in 2010, as compared to prior years). Of those who did, 28% named China as a country they added in 2011. However, at the same time, some patent filers indicated that they are pulling out of China. Of the 17% of respondents that stopped filing into certain countries in 2011, China was the top country. As the report notes, the findings confirm that the mood is still mixed on IP enforcement in China.
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