Apple’s claims on infringements made by Samsung in their various mobile and tablet devices are categorized in three distinct groups: design, utility & trade dress. Today’s graphics provides some highlights for each of the three categories.
By Laura Gaze, Director of PR & Thought Leadership for IP & Science, Thomson Reuters
Where were the innovation hot spots in 2011? Which global economies are seeing the largest influx of multinational branding? Which companies are moving most aggressively to shore-up IP in new markets?
Today, we tackle some of the biggest questions confronting business leaders with the publication of two new reports that track global innovation and brand protection trends throughout 2011. The two reports, 2011 State of Innovation: Twelve Key Technology Areas and their States of Innovation and 2011 Trademark Report: Trademark Activity, Evolution and Important Changes, track patent and trademark activity in key technology areas and economies around the world, using the Thomson Reuters Derwent World Patents Index® (DWPISM) database and SAEGIS on SERION™ trademark research system.
Key findings from the two reports include:
- Domestic Appliance & Medical Device Patent Volumes Rise: Patent volume in the domestic appliances and medical devices technology sectors both grew by 12 percent from 2010 and 2011, with a total of 41,189 and 58,592 inventions, respectively, in the last year alone. The next largest growth sector was in Telecommunications, which grew by five percent.
- Alternative Power Vehicle Technology Goes Global: The auto industry’s greatest single source of new patent activity was alternate powered vehicles, with 19,078 new patents filed globally in 2011, an increase of 20 percent from 2010. The top patent assignees in key world markets were Toyota (Asia), Daimler (Europe) and General Motors (United States).
- Biotech Debuts on Top Twelve List: Researchers at Thomson Reuters identified the biotech sector as a hot growth area, adding the category to their list of bellwether technology areas for the first time in 2011. Over 25,000 biotech patents were filed worldwide in 2011 in categories that include drug discovery, cancer treatment, diagnosis of diseases and genetically modified crops.
- Brand Protection in China Continues to Lead World: Among the key developed and emerging-markets nations, China continues to see significant trademark filing activity. Despite a lag time in Chinese data reporting, over 600,000 trademarks were filed in China as of mid-December 2011, far outpacing levels seen in the U.S., Europe, Brazil, India and South Korea.
Over the course of the next week we’ll cover highlights from the reports, including industry break-outs and important geographical trends. In the meantime, you can view the full State of Innovation report here. View the full report Trademark report here. (more…)
By tracking published patent applications, examining real-world trademark and copyright infringement issues and comparing the government policies and long-term innovation strategies of China to other world leaders, new reports from Thomson Reuters suggest that although China leads the world in patent and trademark filings, its status as a global player still faces challenges.
“Intellectual property is the bridge that connects innovation with economic growth,” said David Brown, president of the IP Solutions business of Thomson Reuters. “We’ve taken on this research as a means of identifying the point where innovation and creativity meet marketability, thus setting the stage for sustained economic development. By closely examining a wide variety of metrics, we can see China is clearly on that path, but there are significant milestones yet to be attained.”
Among the key findings detailed in the free Thomson Reuters China reports on patent and trademark trends:
- China Now Leads World in Patent Filings: Published patent applications in China increased by 16.7 percent between 2006 and 2010; and this year’s patent activity secures China’s status as the world leader in patent application volume, as previously predicted by Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters projects that China will publish 493,000 patent applications annually by 2015.
- Trademark Applications Surge: Since 2000, the number of trademarks registered in China has increased by more than 450 percent, far outpacing other nations, despite widespread counterfeiting and infringement.
- Growing Influence in Scientific Literature: Over the last five years, there has been an 80 percent increase in Chinese scientific literature annual output, making China second in the world in published scientific papers. The United States, which currently has the highest overall output, grew by five percent.
- Slow to Expand Globally: Chinese organizations are not protecting their inventions by filing patents globally at the same level as other innovation-minded countries. Currently, only 5.6 percent of China’s inventions are protected with global patent filings abroad, far less than the United States (48.8 percent) and Japan (38.7 percent).
- China’s Corporate Innovation Lags: According to the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators analysis, the most innovative companies in the world are based in the United States (40 percent), Europe (29 percent) and Japan (27 percent).
- Global Brands Capitalize on Chinese Consumerism: In an economic environment that is expected to reach $4.3 trillion USD in retail spending by 2015, leading multinational companies have been among the top 20 trademark filers in China from 1976 through 2011.
The research findings are available in two new reports from the IP Solutions business of Thomson Reuters. Invented in China assesses total patent volumes and highlights growing areas of innovation activity in China. Special Report: Trademarks in China tracks trends in trademark activity in China over the last 20 years and analyzes trademark activities of the world’s leading brands.
The 12th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development was released earlier this year. In this plan, the Chinese government lays out its strategic vision and direction for the development of China over the next five years up to 2016. A key strategic priority in the plan is for China to transition from “Made in China” to “Designed in China.” This is part of a long term strategy to transform China from a manufacturing to an innovation economy.
To support this goal, there are plans to further develop China’s intellectual property rights system and for heavy investment in science and technology education and R&D through development in seven “Strategic Emerging Industries” (SEIs). These are:
- New Energy – Nuclear, hydro, wind and solar power
- Energy conservation and environmental protection – Energy reduction targets
- Biotechnology – Drugs and medical devices
- New materials – Rare earths and high end semiconductors
- Next-generation IT – Broad band networks, internet security infrastructure, network convergence, “Internet of things”
- High–end equipment manufacturing – Aerospace and telecomm equipment
- Clean energy vehicles – battery cell technology; target to produce 1 million electric vehicles per annum by 2015
There are plans to spend more than RMB 4 trillion on these industries during the next five years, with a view to increasing the SEI’s share of GDP from around 5 percent today to 8 percent by 2015. The drive for domestic innovation continues with the implementation this year of the 12th National Five-Year Plan on Science & Technology Development which also lays out a number of ambitious goals for the further development of China as a technologically advanced nation:
- Increase in R&D expenditure as a proportion of GDP from 1.75% in 2010 to 2.2% in 2015;
- Improvement in ranking of citations in international science papers from 8th to 5th;
- Increase in invention patent ownership per 10,000 head of population from 1.7 to 3.3
Measures to support this growth in indigenous innovation include:
- Research & Development investment in science and technology aimed at achieving key breakthroughs in targeted technology subsectors, such as core electronic devices, integrated circuits, life sciences, space, marine, earth sciences and nanotechnology.
- Intellectual Property improvements through efforts to strengthen creation, use, protection and management of IP rights.
- Incentives through fiscal and financial policies that support high-tech industry, including updating management of research funding and systems for venture capital investment.
Read the full report: Chinese Patenting: Report on the Current State of Innovation in China
IP and Innovation to Drive Economic Value in China: A Knowledge Exchange Presentation by David Brown
On Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 David Brown, Thomson Reuters president of IP Solutions, delivered a presentation titled, “IP and Innovation to Drive Economic Value” at the inaugural Thomson Reuters Knowledge Exchange event in Beijing. The event focused on the state of innovation in China and how Chinese companies, institutions and the government can continue to use IP and innovation.
Key points from David Brown’s presentation include the following:
- China is poised to become an innovation-based economy by 2020.
- Patent filing volume and scientific literature output show China leading or on the rise.
- China’s global assertion of its IP rights provides the foundation for creating economic value for domestic inventions.
- The IP marketplace is ripe with opportunity – the key is to be open to partnerships and leverage patent portfolios where possible.
What does it take to go from being a manufacturing powerhouse to a design and innovation hothouse?
This is an absolutely fascinating question to ponder, but for a country like China, which is trying to move up the value chain, it is a vital one as well. As China becomes a wealthier country, as costs rise, inflation bites and currency adjustments take their toll, the days of being the world’s cheap workshop are in danger.
Cheap just isn’t good enough. Someone – some country – can always be cheaper and competing down the ladder of success isn’t going to make your nation a lasting, prosperous, satisfied success.
But competing on smarts, competing on innovation, competing on design and competing on invention — these are things that can deliver lasting value. They are difficult to do, however.
China’s leaders have long emphasised innovation and it is a cornerstone of the new five year plan. That means national attention and resources are lined up behind this goal, with focus and urgency.
And looking at the numbers, that emphasis has paid off.
The Thomson Reuters Web of Science ranks China second worldwide in terms of the number of research papers published annually. A new Thomson Reuters report says patent applications have raced ahead at an annual rate of 16.7% during each of the past five years.
But of course the numbers game isn’t enough. Quantity alone without ensuring top quality won’t move anyone up the ladder.
The good news is that improvements in innovation will bring advances and reforms throughout the system.
Once Chinese companies become innovators, they will join their world wide peers in demanding enforcement of intellectual property rights laws — Chinese intellectual property will need and deserve the same standard of world wide protection. The rule of law will become ever more established as Chinese designers and inventors assert their rights. And information will flow more freely since true innovation and invention simply can’t happen in a vacuum.
We’re not all the way there today.
But Chinese inventors and companies are as determined as their government to make innovation a key attribute of a developing China.
That’s a key thing to watch as the world’s second largest economy moves into new stages of development and maturity. (more…)
By Reynolds Holding, Thomson Reuters
Today’s costly technology patent wars in many ways can be pinned on the courts. Google, Apple, Microsoft and others are spending billions of dollars for the rights to ideas and inventions powering devices like smartphones. But what they’re actually buying is legal protection. The next wave of rulings ought to sync up the law with the real world.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is the exclusive forum for patent appeals, created in 1982 to keep the law consistent. But with consistency has come decisions upholding patents so broadly it’s hard to tell exactly what they cover.
In the 1990s, for example, software patent approvals began. Unlike with other inventions, however, they required only general descriptions – not code or other information showing exactly how concepts worked. The court used similarly loose standards to approve patents for businss methords and certain technology.
Judges may have been overlapping claims to some of tech’s most valuable ideas. It means firms like google cannot identify all the patents that may cover, say the Android mobile operating system. The company’s chief legal officer says as many as 250,000 might apply to a smartphone.
That has led companies to introduce their products first and face consequences later. In the case of Android, Microsoft has asked Samsung to pay as much as $15 for each device using the software because of alleged infringement. The software giant also is suing in federal court to ban Motorola’s Android phones.
The latest tack, though, is to deter lawsuits and royalty demands by acquiring patent portfolios. By doing so, companies can counter infringement threats with claims of their own. It’s also a way to establish detente.
A more reasonable approach would be stricter approval standards. the U.S. Supreme Court seemed to agree last year when it affirmed the rejection of a proposed business-method patent. The decision comes too late for companies that have shelled out for infringement fights. But it bodes well for those that would rather use patents to promote innovation than squelch it.
The IP Solutions business of Thomson Reuters announced the addition of patent records from the patent-issuing authorities of Poland, Hong Kong and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional office registering patents from member states, which include the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, State of Qatar, State of Bahrain, State of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Sultanate of Oman, to its Derwent World Patents Index® (DWPISM) database. This comprehensive collection of editorially enhanced patent documents from 47 global issuing authorities also includes English language abstracts and titles, making it easier for researchers to quickly find the information they need to make informed decisions regarding protected technologies in these key global markets. Read the full press release.
Helping Ideas Move Faster: WILLIAMS F1 MOTORSPORT TECHNOLOGY FINDS NEW MARKETS WITH THOMSON INNOVATION
Williams F1 is driving intellectual property activity for its motorsport technology using Thomson Innovation®, our IP intelligence and collaboration workflow solution. Through Williams F1’s commercialization initiatives, the company is expanding its footprint and revenue stream into markets such as renewable energy, electric power grids, metro systems and simulator-based driver training.
Williams F1 takes technology that has its origins in competitive motorsport racing to new markets by identifying, protecting, developing and capitalizing on its intellectual assets. Williams F1’s commercialization efforts began in earnest with its investment in Williams Hybrid Power. The subsidiary initially developed flywheel energy storage systems based on the patented Magnetically Loaded Composite for the team’s Grand Prix racing cars, but is now developing systems for an array of mobile energy storage applications. In 2009, the Williams Technology Centre was established in the Qatar Science & Technology Park to further expand the commercialization initiative. Thomson Innovation provides the geographically dispersed Williams F1 team with a central workflow solution. Its patent information, visualization tools, alerts, scientific literature, and new Custom Fields comprise the robust capabilities ideal for Williams F1’s commercialization efforts.
“As we look into different industry segments and applications, such as electricity grids, the right tools are needed to understand them,” said Damien Scott, general manager of the Williams Technology Centre in Qatar. “We turn to Thomson Innovation for the information and inspiration we need to assess new areas and determine their potential.” Scott also points out that Thomson Innovation enables a collaborative work environment, expedites the identification of new markets, and helps realize new revenue streams from its motorsport-derived technology. Learn more about how Williams F1 is using Thomson Innovation.
The bell to signal the end of trading on the New York Stock Exchange tomorrow, Tuesday 21st June will be rung remotely from the IP Business Congress (IPBC), taking place at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. This is the first time that the bell has ever been rung from an IP-related event, demonstrating the growing importance of intellectual property as a business and financial asset class.
Follow along with the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ipbc.