The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published a new report revealing that worldwide trademark and industrial design-creation activity rose in 2019 even as the number of global patent applications dipped slightly on weaker demand in IP powerhouse China.

Furthermore, the World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report showed that trademark and industrial design filing activity increased by 5.9% and 1.3% respectively. A 3% decline in global patent applications, the first fall in a decade, was driven by a drop in filings by Chinese residents. Excluding China, global patent filings rose 2.3%.

The annual WIPI report collects and analyses IP data from some 150 national and regional offices to inform policy makers, business leaders, investors, academics and others seeking macro trends in innovation and creativity.

The WIPI's 2019 figures, which pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic, underline the long-building growth in demand for the intellectual property tools that incentivise an increasingly global and digital-focused economy, said WIPO Director General Daren Tang.

"The robust use of intellectual property tools shows high levels of innovation and creativity at the end of 2019, just at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Mr. Tang. "The pandemic has accelerated long-building trends by fostering the adoption of new technologies and accelerating the digitisation of everyday life. Because IP is so connected to technology, innovation and digitalisation, IP will become even more important to a greater number of countries in the post-COVID world."