Worldwide Plant Variety Application Filings Reached Record Highs in 2021December 7, 2022

Despite a global economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic, a report recently published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) reveals there was sustained growth in worldwide IP filings in 2021. From 2020, patent filings grew by 3.6%, trademark filings grew by 5.5%, and plant variety applications grew by a staggering 12%. This double digit increase in plant variety applications is the highest single-year growth since 2017 and indicates that plant variety protection continues to be an important part of IP portfolios, even in times of economic turbulence.

As in the previous five years, China received the most plant variety applications of any nation in 2021, with 11,195 applications filed in China alone (nearly half of all plant variety applications worldwide). The Community Plant Variety Office of the European Union (CPVO) came in a distant second and received 3,480 applications. The United States received 1,902 applications, Ukraine received 944, and the Netherlands received 836.

Although China received the most filings, the United States had a larger year-on-year growth in filings. Compared to China, which saw a 24.9% increase, filings in the United States grew by an astounding 32.8%. This is a remarkable comeback for the United States after a decline in filings in 2020 (-9.9%) and 2019 (-1.2%). Another year-on-year increase of note is the United Kingdom, which saw a 214.6% increase in filings due to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and the necessitation of direct filings (as opposed to filing via the CVPO). Conversely, Brexit appeared to have had minimal impact on CVPO filings, which held steady with a 1.5% increase from 2020.

The full World Intellectual Property Indicators 2022 report can be found HERE.

Melissa Mitchell is an intellectual property attorney in the MVS Biotechnology and Chemical Practice Group. To learn more, visit our MVS website, or contact Melissa directly via email.

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