The total preliminary number of IPR applications—including patents, utility models, designs, and trademarks—submitted to KIPO in 2014 amounted to 434,047, an 0.9% growth rate year-on-year. In 2014, patent applications totaled 210,292, showing a 2.8% increase year-onyear, the highest growth rate among all IPRs.
Utility model applications decreased 16.3% year-on-year to total 9,184, and design applications decreased 3.9% for a total of 64,345.
Trademark applications for 2014 totaled 150,226, a 1.7% growth rate year-on-year.Volatility caused by the financial crisis lowered the number of patent applications by 4.2% in 2009, but this was soon rectified in 2010 by a 4.0% increase that kicked off an upward trend which has since continued unabated. Patent applications stood at around 200 in 1949, before jumping to around 5,000 in 1980, and 100,000 in 2000. Over the past 13 years, this number has doubled to over 200,000.
There were 46,223 foreign applications, accounting for 21.9% of the total number of patent applications. The greatest number of patent applications (15,661) was from Japan, posting a 3.9% decrease year-on-year. This was followed by the United States (14,004, 7.8% yearon-year increase), Germany (4,224, -4.4%), France (2,211, 13.4%), Switzerland (1,319, -0.8%), and China (1,571, 37.2%)
International search reports and international preliminary examinations
The number of PCT international search reports undertaken by KIPO totaled 30,160 in 2014, a 2.1% rise from 29,531 in 2013. Of these, the number of requests submitted by Korean applicants reached 12,442, a 3.9% increase from 2013, and the number of requests submitted by foreign applicants reached 17,718, a 0.9% increase from 2013.
The number of international preliminary examinations undertaken by KIPO in 2014 was 236, a 6.3% decrease from 252 in 2013.
The numbers have continuously decreased over the past few years due to PCT regulation amendments made in 2002, which extended the time taken to enter the designated states from 20 months to 30 months, even if international preliminary examination has not been requested. This trend is also partly due to International Searching Authorities reviewing the patentability of applications since 2004.