Thomson Reuters Study Finds Global Innovation Activity Highest Since Recession

thompson reutersAutomobiles, Petroleum and Domestic Appliances show greatest year-over-year growth


ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA – The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, released its 2014 State of Innovation report today. This annual publication analyzes global patent data as a proxy for innovation across 12 key technology areas using the Thomson Reuters Derwent World Patents Index® (DWPISM) database.

Key findings from the report include:

Biggest Innovation Gains Since End of Recession: Total worldwide patent volume across the 12 technology areas increased 26% over the prior year, with 11 of the 12 sectors showing increases, the most significant advancements since the inception of the report. All but one of the 11 gainers had double-digit growth. The only area to decline was the Biotechnology sector.

Automotive Safety, Energy Exploration and Smart Kitchen Appliances Drive Largest Gains: The Automotive, Petroleum and Domestic Appliances technology areas had the greatest year-over-year increases, each logging a 35% jump in worldwide patent volume over the prior period. Domestic Appliances ranked among the top three leaders for the second consecutive year. Safety-related innovation saw the greatest gains in the Automotive sector, while the Petroleum sector was driven by petroleum and gas exploration, drilling and processing. Kitchen-related innovations dominated Domestic Appliances.

Emerging Markets & Academic Contributions on Upswing: Increased activity from China and Russia emphasizes the focus on innovation in these regions, as does increased activity on the part of universities and research institutions.

Computing Peripherals Continue to Lead the Global Pack: The technology area with the largest overall global patent volume continues to be Computing & Peripherals, for the fifth consecutive year, with over 300,000 inventions over the past year, more than double the innovation activity of the next nearest technology area: Telecommunications. All subsectors within Computing Peripherals showed positive gains, a first since the inception of this report.

“This report underscores the relationship between patents and innovation, as well as between innovation and economic growth,” said David Brown, managing director, Thomson Reuters IP Solutions. “For the past five years we have monitored worldwide innovation activity and can confidently state there is a clear shift in global filings; we’ve rounded the post-recessionary corner. These are the most significant gains we have seen to date.”

The data in this report were compiled using the Thomson Reuters DWPI database to aggregate granted patents and published applications (examined and unexamined) from January 1 through December 12, 2013.

View the full 2014 State of Innovation report.

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