Data

Annual patent applications per million people

What you should know about this indicator

  • Patent applications per million people are calculated by Our World in Data based on patent data from the World Bank's World Development Indicators, and population estimates from the United Nations World Population Prospects.
  • Patents are assigned based on the residence country of the first-named applicant.

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. 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
World Bank (2023); United Nations (2022) – with minor processing by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 20, 2024
Next expected update
May 2025
Date range
1980–2020
Unit
applications per million people

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 11, 2023
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 Development Indicators, The World Bank

World Population Prospects are the official estimates and projections of the global population that have been published by the United Nations since 1951. The estimates are based on all available sources of data on population size and levels of fertility, mortality and international migration for 237 countries or areas. More details at https://population.un.org/wpp/Publications/.

Retrieved on
September 9, 2022
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.
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, Online Edition.

How we process data at Our World in Data

All data and visualizations on Our World in Data rely on data sourced from one or several original data providers. Preparing this original data involves several processing steps. Depending on the data, this can include standardizing country names and world region definitions, converting units, calculating derived indicators such as per capita measures, as well as adding or adapting metadata such as the name or the description given to an indicator.

At the link below you can find a detailed description of the structure of our data pipeline, including links to all the code used to prepare data across Our World in Data.

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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 per million people”. Our World in Data (2024). Data adapted from World Bank, United Nations. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/patent-applications-per-million [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:

World Bank (2023); United Nations (2022) – with minor processing by Our World in Data

Full citation

World Bank (2023); United Nations (2022) – with minor processing by Our World in Data. “Annual patent applications per million people” [dataset]. World Bank, “World Development Indicators”; United Nations, “World Population Prospects” [original data]. Retrieved June 19, 2024 from https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/patent-applications-per-million