Even everyday consumers are known about the place of urban innovation hubs around the world. Moreover, the location of those hubs has not changed much in recent decades. Although Silicon Valley stalwarts such as Google and Facebook may be no more than a generation old, the region's high technology developments are at least back to the 1950s. In Tokyo, the technology industry remained strong since the latter half of the 20th century brought it a notoriety.
But in recent years, according to World Intellectual Property Report 2019, which has recently been released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), technological innovation has been expanding from these hubs to create a decentralized global innovation environment. In the title Geography of Innovation: Local Hotspots, Global Networks, this report indicates how the oversight of certain countries regarding global innovation still relieves while hubs of innovation are still found in densely populated urban centers. Further nations join the leading centers of creativity worldwide.
Between 1970 and 2000, the United States, Japan and Germany accounted for two-thirds of the world's patenting activities. During this time, the combination of these third countries with the rest of Western Europe represented 90% of the global patent filing activity. But since strong economies have taken over from other nations, these regions have been dominated by regional patenting outlets. For example, while between 1990 and 1999 only 3% of world patent filings in combination accounted for China and South Korea, between 2015 and 2017 they accounted for 20% of patent filings.
Given the growing number of countries contributing to world progress, vigorous R&D markets remain confined to urban population centers. Around one-quarter of U.S. patents in 2011 to 2015 was worldwide originating in Boston, New York, and San Francisco, with over half of the Chinese patents in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai in that period. Fewer than 20% of all patent applications examined in the WIPO report come from inventors outside urban locations or clusters of a niche technology.
At the same time, a large population does not ensure that a specific city is an innovation hub. Whereas these core centers are clustered along the east coast and west of the Americas, urban population centers, including New York City and San Francisco, do not embrace the same level of innovation. In Asia, Latin America and Africa there are also highly populated cities that do not contribute to the high level of international patent applications. In comparison, while there are not many large populations in Ithaca, New York, and Bern, Switzerland, solid engineering markets, due to local research institutes and core enterprises based in those areas, have found a way of growth.
The Internet era is characterized by interconnectivity over long distances and it seems that the impact of digital technologies on patenting practices has been important. The WIPO report shows a significant increase in the proportion of global patents listing inventor teams rather than individuals. Although teams were listed on just over half of all patents filed by inventor teams in the early 2000s, almost 70% of patents filed were filed in the latter half of 2010. Many of these teams of inventors include members of a limited number of countries from all over the world. WIPO found two-thirds of all international innovation and scientific research partnerships between the years 2011 and 2015 located in either the US or Western Europe. Whilst many international collaborations are established in European cities like London and Paris, they tend to be linked with major parts of the planet, from the US, India or Swiss cities.
The rise of multinationals has been a major driver in recent decades of the globalization of international co-operation. In the 1970s and 1980s, American and Western European companies listed only 9% of their patents for foreign inventors. By the 2010s, however, the proportion of Western European patents identified by inventors was 27 percent higher, and the same was 38 percent higher in the USA. In countries such as India and China, multinationals have also been a catalyst to improve investment in middle-income economies.
The WIPO report looks at global patenting in two very critical and flourishing fields of the innovation industry in greater depth. The introduction of autonomous cars aims to reduce fatal human error injuries and to improve traffic mobility for lower congested transport. In the AV sector, Detroit car manufacturer Ford has 357 patent families. Toyota (320 patent families) and Bosch (277 patent families) are in the leading position in this industry.
It is certainly not unusual for Michigan, Tokyo and Germany to be among the leading companies, but some non-traditional automobile manufacturers are on the list of leading AV innovators. Google ranked 8th in 156 families with patents for AV, and overcame AV innovations like BMW, Hyundai and Nissan.
The agro-biotechnology sector, which has helped agriculture worldwide, is another innovation field that is chronicled by the WIPO report. In urban centers, while biotech crops are also highly concentrated, soil and climate characteristics in different regions increase the geographical diversity of innovations in this field. However, a combination of the United States, Germany, China, Japan, and South Korea account for 80 percent of the total world patent filings for biotech crops. Due to numerous academic studies in this field, the partnership of private biotech companies with public universities has increased, often involving private companies having a capital to produce a product that could be marketed.
The creativity in the 21st century is growing increasingly global every day, and the development of innovation economics requires cross-border cooperation and systemic collaboration. An international company who knows IP internationally is vital to your growth if you are trying to extend the scope of your industry across continents to new development partners and trade markets.
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