Data

Annual patent applications

What you should know about this indicator

Patent applications are worldwide patent applications filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty procedure or with a national patent office for exclusive rights for an invention--a product or process that provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem. A patent provides protection for the invention to the owner of the patent for a limited period, generally 20 years.

Limitations and exceptions: A patent is an exclusive right granted for a specified period (generally 20 years) for a new way of doing something or a new technical solution to a problem - an invention. The invention must be of practical use and display a characteristic unknown in the existing body of knowledge in its field. Most countries have systems to protect patentable inventions.

Statistical concept and methodology: Resident patent applications are those for which the first-named applicant or assignee is a resident of the State or region concerned. In the case of regional offices such as the European Patent Office, a resident is an applicant from any of the member States of the regional patent convention.

Patent data cover applications and grants classified by field of technology. International applications series distinguish four subcategories: a) patents taken out by residents of a country in that country; b) patents taken out in a country by non-residents of that country; c) total patents registered in the country or naming it; d) patents taken out outside a country by its residents. Data on patents granted only distinguish between patents awarded to residents and to non-residents. A patent provides protection for the invention to the owner of the patent for a limited period, generally 20 years.

Patent applications are worldwide patent applications filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty procedure or with a national patent office for exclusive rights for an invention - a product or process that provides a new way of doing something or offers a new technical solution to a problem.

Source
Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 20, 2024
Next expected update
May 2025
Date range
1980–2021

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

The World Development Indicators (WDI) is the primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates.

Retrieved on
May 20, 2024
Citation
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
World Bank's World Development Indicators (WDI).

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Citations

How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Annual patent applications”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from World Intellectual Property Organization (via World Bank). Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/annual-patent-applications [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data

Full citation

Multiple sources compiled by World Bank (2024) – processed by Our World in Data. “Annual patent applications” [dataset]. World Intellectual Property Organization (via World Bank), “World Development Indicators” [original data]. Retrieved June 25, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/annual-patent-applications