In 2017, about 945,100 industrial design applications were filed worldwide. These applications contained a total of 1.24 million designs. Almost 85% of global industrial design filing activity – as measured in design counts – took place in the top ten offices in 2017 – 2018, with the office of China alone receiving 50.6% the world total. The EUIPO (8.9%) and the Republic of Korea (5.4%) received the second and third largest shares of total filing activity. Italy (+14.2%), Spain (+23.5%) and the U.K. (+92.1%) all recorded strong annual growth in the number of designs in applications received in 2017, whereas Germany (–18.5%) and the Republic of Korea (–2.6%) were the only two among the top 10 offices to have received fewer designs in applications in 2017 - 2018 than in the previous year.
While discussing the filing activity among offices of middle - income countries, with nearly 18,000 designs in applications received, the IP office of the Islamic Republic of Iran had considerably higher filing activity than offices of most other middle-income countries in 2017. India (11,117 designs), Ukraine (8,346), the Russian Federation (7,390), Brazil (6,000) and Morocco (5,374) also ranked among the top 10 offices in terms of design filing activity. India has shown its progress with its enthusiastic involvement in Intellectual Property filing and its standing amongst the top 10 countries has proved its inventive thinking and the availability of people with an innovative mindset.
It was noteworthy to see that The Republic of Korea leads the world in the number of designs in applications per unit of GDP. Calculating design counts per unit of GDP enables a comparison of industrial design filing activity by residents of countries with different filing systems (single-design versus multi-design) and economies of different sizes. On this measure, the Republic of Korea performed strongly. It had the highest resident design count per unit of GDP in 2017, followed by China, Turkey, Italy and Germany, making the same top five origins like in case of the previous year.
Grouping the 32 Locarno classes into 12 industry sectors has allows analysing the areas of strength or specialization of different countries. Both the furniture and household goods sector and the textiles and accessories sector featured among the top three sectors for industrial design filings for all five of the selected origins. Construction was one of the top three sectors for applicants located in the Republic of Korea, whereas advertising ranked among the top three for those in Turkey and the U.K., and electricity and lighting for applicants based in Germany and Italy.
When the design is exclusive it drives people to secure their design in varied jurisdiction and Hague System makes it possible for an applicant to obtain protection for industrial designs in multiple jurisdictions by filing a single application with the International Bureau of WIPO. It simplifies the process of multinational registration by eliminating the requirement to file a separate application in each jurisdiction in which protection is sought. Hague applicants can protect up to 100 industrial designs for products belonging to one and the same class through a single application. In 2017, the Hague System received 5,213 international applications, down 6.3% on 2016. However, these applications contained 19,429 designs representing annual growth of 3.8%. The number of designs in Hague applications has continuously increased since 2007.
Applicants based in Germany remained the largest users of the Hague System, with 4,261 designs in applications. They were followed by those residing in Switzerland (2,935), the Republic of Korea (1,742), the U.S. (1,661) and France (1,396). These five origins combined accounted for around 62% of the total. While France (+15.2%), Germany (+8.8%), Switzerland (+14.9%) and the U.S. (+17.8%) all experienced sharp increases in design count, the Republic of Korea (–7.4%) saw its first decline in design count since joining the Hague System in 2014.
Among the filers of design Two electronics giants from the Republic of Korea lead the top applicant's list, Samsung Electronics (762 designs) and LG Electronics (668), ranked first and second among the top applicants. The Netherlands’ Fonkel Meubelmarketing (490) dropped from the first position in 2016 to third in 2017. Procter & Gamble of the U.S. (488) and Volkswagen of Germany (369) were fourth and fifth, respectively. The top 10 applicants represent a diverse set of industries, including automobiles, decorative lighting, electronics, furnishing, household goods, software and computer services, and watches and jewellery.