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Patent, Trade Mark and Registered Design Trends Showcased in Latest IP Report

Clinton Priddle

2021 was certainly a year of change for patent attorneys in Australia, from the phasing out of innovation patents to the way COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the innovation landscape and the way we work and do business. 

IP Australia has released its 2022 Australian Intellectual Property Report, which puts numbers behind the latest IP trends. 

Increase in Patent, Trade Mark and Registered Design Filings

As innovation patents were phased out in August 2021, a surge in filings was expected.  In 2021, innovation patent filings (including converted innovation patents) grew 71% from 2020, and 150% from 2019.  

Importantly, however, was that this surge was not at the sacrifice of standard patent application filings, as in 2021 a record high number of standard patent applications were filed in Australia, growing 11% from 2020. 

Registered Design filings (called Design Patents in the US) grew 13% in 2021, similarly to a record high.  Part of this increase may be due to the phasing out of innovation patents, as Australia allows functional designs to be registered (in addition to purely aesthetic designs).  

Finally, a record high number of trade mark applications were filed in Australia, up 9% on 2020. 

The growth in filings is split across Australian and overseas applicants, with growth both locally and overseas in patent and trade mark filings.  The increase in design filings was, however, predominantly originating overseas.   

This appears to demonstrate strong domestic economic activity, in addition to strong growth from overseas, where the US and China remain key originating markets.  

The report also shows general trends in patent filings, including that female participation in patent filings is increasing (yay!) and that patent filings relating to artificial intelligence (AI) are doubling each year.

A full copy of the report can be found here: https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/ip-report-2022

Moving Forward

While 2020 showed a dip in patent filings, which was probably caused by the economic uncertainty associated with the global COVID-19 Pandemic, 2021 has more than made up for this dip, reaching all-time highs in patent, trade mark and registered design filings across the board.  

2022 has also started strongly, and as such, we expect this trend to continue.  

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any queries regarding patents, trade marks and registered designs.

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