Patent applications: Russia and the world

Patent applications: Russia, the rest of the BRICS countries, and a few other countries compared

PCT patent apps non-residents-2005-12_BRICS+

The graph above (data source: World Bank) shows how Russia compares with selected other countries in terms of patent applications filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) or a national patent office between 2005 to 2012. Data are from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – the World Intellectual Property Indicators – and published by the World Bank as part of the World Development Indicators.

What does this graph show, and why is it interesting? It compares the performance of the BRICS countries plus Indonesia, Mexico, and Japan on a widely used indicator of innovation output – applications for international patents. Here are some key findings:

  • In terms of the number of PCT patent applications by non-residents, China is well ahead of the other seven countries looked at here: Russia, Brazil, Mexico, India, Indonesia, South Africa, and Japan.
  • China saw a steady increase in PCT applications since 2005, from 79,842 to over 117,000 in 2012. That’s a 47% increase in 7 years.
  • Brazil is second to China for number of PCT applications.
  • Russia (followed closely by Brazil and India) saw the biggest percentage increase from 2005 to 2012 – a huge increase of 80% (Russia) and 75% (Brazil and India).
  • Mexico and Russia had approximately the same number of PCT applications in 2012 – 14020 for Mexico and 15510 for Russia. The difference is that Russia saw a huge increase since 2005 while the number of Mexico’s PCT applications remained relatively stable since 2005.
  • Only Japan saw a percentage decrease in PCT applications – fall of 5.6% between 2005-12.

Russia’s huge increase (of 80% between 2005 and 2012) may be explained by the government’s modernization and innovation policies which started around 2007/2008. This is something to investigate further.


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