On February 15, 2022, Taiwan’s Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) announced information on patent and trademark filings in 2021:
- A total of 72,613 patent applications were filed with an annual growth rate of 1%, inclusive of 49,116 invention patent applications increased by 5%, 15,796 utility model applications and 7,701 design patents decreased by 10% and 4% respectively.
- The numbers of patent applications filed by top 100 local and foreign enterprises are 12,234 and 14,149, respectively, with an annual growth rate of 8% and 5% respectively.
- In terms of the number of patent applications filed by top 100 local enterprises, TSMC, with 1,950 filings, has received the highest rank for six consecutive years. As for top 100 foreign enterprises, Qualcomm with 845 filings has maintained the top spot for two consecutive years.
- Of the filings by TSMC, 1,053 patent applications, including invention, utility model and design applications have matured into patents, which ranked the top spot among local enterprises, while Applied Materials obtained 492 patents, which ranked the top spot among foreign enterprises. The average examination time frame for invention patent applications is 14 months, and the number of pending cases has remained at the level of 50,000.
- There are 95,917 trademark filings in the whole year of 2021, setting a record high since the establishment of TIPO in 1999. The average examination time frame has dropped to 6.2 months, and the number of pending cases has remained at 50,000.
From the above information published by TIPO, the writer would like to draw an analysis as follows:
- The numbers of invention patent filings by local enterprises and individuals have reached the highest since 2014, and Japan ranked the first in the number of patent filings by foreign enterprises and individuals.
19,547 invention patent applications were filed by local enterprises and individuals, the highest since 2014, and a number on the rise for five consecutive years. It is mainly due to an increase of 6% filings by enterprises (of which the number of large enterprises increased by 9%), and an increase of 2% filings by research institutions. There were 14,543 utility model patent and 3,534 design patent filings, a decrease of 12% and 10% respectively, mainly due to a decrease of 8% to 10% filings by enterprises and a 16% decrease by individuals. 29,569, 1,253 and 4,167 applications were filed for invention, utility model and design patents by foreign enterprises and individuals, showing an increase by 7%, 13% and 2% respectively.
Japan continues to be the first among foreign enterprises and individuals, which filed a total of 13,324 patent applications, followed by the United States (7,986) and Mainland China (4,253), while South Korea (2,388) ranked the fourth with an annual growth rate of 27% being the highest among the top five foreign countries. Japan ranked first in terms of both invention and design patent applications, and the number of utility model filings by Mainland China was the largest.
- TSMC and Qualcomm were in the first place in terms of the number of Taiwan's patent filings by local and foreign enterprises.
In 2021, among the top 100 enterprises, TSMC won the championship. With 1,950 filings, it has a significant growth rate of 78%. TSMC has continued to rank first since 2016, followed by AU Optronics (471). Among the top ten foreign enterprises, Qualcomm increased by 17% annually, with 845 filings. Semiconductor equipment manufacturers occupied 4 seats, including Applied Materials with 793 filings, Tokyo Electron with 477 filings, and Disco with 225 filings. While the latter three companies ranked 2nd, 5th and 10th respectively, the number of filings by ASML, i.e. 265, hit the highest and the ranking was promoted to 8th for the first time. Samsung Electronics ranked fourth with 520 filings or a growth rate of 98%, the highest among the top ten foreign enterprises.
- The number of trademark filings by foreigners has increased, hitting a record high of 95,917 involving 123,217 Classes (73,374 filings by domestic enterprises and individuals and 22,543 filings by foreign enterprises and individuals, or a growth rate by 2% and 3% respectively.) Among the top five countries (regions), Mainland China ranked first with 4,929 cases or an annual growth rate of 8%, and the United States also rose 6% to 4,032, jumping second with Japan (3,437, an annual decrease of 14%) surpassed.