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Derwent Releases Patent Statistics

Magazine article Information Today

Derwent Releases Patent Statistics

Article excerpt

Derwent Information has announced that the number of patents filed by U.K. companies is falling dramatically, just at the point when patents are becoming a vital way of maintaining competitive advantage, and companies are being exhorted to exploit the new knowledge-based economy.

The latest article in a series looking at patent statistics published in Derwent Information's Web-based publication, IP Matters (http://www.ipmatters.net/statistics), examines the question of whether national patent-filing activities can be used to track the relative performance of economies. The results suggest that the U.K. could be in for a surprise.

Searching on Derwent's World Patent Index for patents granted in Japan, Great Britain, the U.S., Germany, and France for the past 10 years confirms that patenting activity is generally increasing in most of the major economies, particularly in Japan (although allowance needs to be made for the fact that Japanese patenting methods throw up higher figures relative to other countries), the U.S., and Germany. Both France and the U.K., however, are underperforming relative to the other countries. Japan's figures, for example, rose from 187,652 in 1989, to 322,521 by 1997, while Great Britain went from a high of 13,414 in l989 and fell to 1l,312 by 1997.

The article also shows how, using Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent application statistics, a "relative performance" table can be produced that underlines even more graphically the extent to which U. …

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