WIPO released the World IP Report, 2019, yesterday. The press release on WIPO’s website states that millions of patents and scientific publications over decades were reviewed to arrive at its findings. At a general level, the IP Report’s findings are as follows:
- Innovative activity has become more collaborative and transnational over the years, but collaborations are limited to a few large clusters in a small number of countries.
- 69 percent of patents and 48 percent of scientific activity happens at around 30 metropolitan hotspots in China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America (U.S.).
- In early 2000s, 64 percent of scientific publications and 54 percent of patents were collaborative. That increased to 88 percent and 68 percent by the end of 2010.
- International scientific collaborations increased by 25 percent, but inventor collaborations for patent filings saw a drop from 11 percent after 2009.
- Before 2000, Japan, the U.S. and Western European economies accounted for 90 percent patent activity and 70 percent publishing, but between 2015-17, this dropped to 70 percent and 50 percent as activity in other countries such as China, India and other countries increased.
- Patent activity and research activity of MNCs are based out of their R and D centres based out of locations with specialised knowledge and skill.
- Scientific activity is more wide spread among countries than patent activity.
- Two sectors are undergoing profound change: Automotive and Agricultural Biotechnology.
- Autonomous vehicle patent activity integrates companies from different sectors though innovation is currently being led by traditional automotive companies such as Ford, Toyota and Bosch. Companies like Google, Uber and Delphi are also among the top 50 contributors in the area, Google being among the top 10.
- China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the U.S account for more than 55 percent of all scientific publications and more than 80 percent of all patents in agricultural biotechnology.
- Though Agri-Biotech innovation happens in metropolitan areas generally, it is geographically wider spread compared to other fields.
- Since 2000s, collaborations between private entities and public institutions has increased. This was earlier limited to collaboration between private firms.
Patents and Innovation in India
From the PR of the report, India does not seem to be a significant player in innovation and patent activity. However, it is noteworthy that India has been given its due importance owing to the progress made by the country during the last two decades. Activity in India finds place with respect to some aspects:
- Bangalore is listed among the top ten collaboration metropolitan hotspots for collaborative research and patenting in the world.
- The report also acknowledges that India’s patent and scientific activity has grown significantly.
- Infosys is mentioned as a company that sources technology.
- Indian companies do not find a mention in the autonomous vehicle research and patent activity.
- Nothing about India has also been mentioned with respect to agricultural biotechnology innovation.
The IP report indicates an increase in collaborative research and innovation as well as patenting, which will most probably be the way forward for scientific and technological progress driven economic and social development. The report’s findings are based on patent and publication data, and do not include collaborative research and innovation through open models. When the community and open models are factored into the report, the percentage of collaborative innovation is expected to be much higher than reported.
Note: This note is based on the PR of the report, and we will write another post after reviewing the full report.