The UK Patent Office has received its highest number of patent applications for ten years, and has granted the highest number of patents since 1990.
There has also been a 5 per cent increase in applications for trademarks, though design-registration applications have dropped slightly. Design applications refer to the aesthetic appearance, rather than functionality, of an item. Design applications submitted by UK residents are – at 3614 – 7 per cent up.
Packaging remains the busiest sector for design applications, which saw 916 applications.
Total applications numbered 28 619, with a 16 per cent increase in patents granted, to 9249. The telecommunications industry was partly responsible for the increase, submitting 1346 schemes, 888 of which were granted.
Dr Kim Howells, Minister for Consumer and Corporate Affairs, says, “This…further emphasises Britain’s transition into a knowledge economy…Businesses and individuals are using the Patent Office to protect their intellectual property by filing for patent protection before they disclose the nature of their inventions”.