IP Filings in Latin America on the rise
According to recent World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) statistics released in December 2014, there has been a 14.3% overall increase in patents filed in Latin America and the Caribbean from 2010 to 2013. This overall increase went up to 48.4% considering the period from 2003 to 2013.
This increase in patent filings was led by Brazil with an astonishing 88.2% increase from 2003 to 2013 with 30,884 patents filed in 2013. Focusing on the Pacific Alliance countries, Colombia showed a 68.1% increase over the same period, followed by Peru (37%), Chile (27.7%) and Mexico (26.5%), with 15,444 patent filings in 2013.
While these numbers of patent filings are very low compared to those in countries such as China, Japan or the U.S., it is a larger percentage increase in comparison to many other countries. For example, in the period 2003-2013, the overall increase for patent filings in the U.S. was of 66.9%, lower than those of Brazil and Colombia.
For a region that 20 years ago had very few IP protections, remarkably patent growth in Latin America has outperformed the world averages in recent years.
Regarding trademark filings, the most recent WIPO statistics show that Latin America and the Caribbean have seen modest growth (23.6%) in the period 2003-2013 compared to patent filings. Regarding Brazil and the Pacific Alliance countries, Mexico leads this increase with a remarkable 93.6% over the same period, with 103,994 trademarks filed in 2013, followed by Peru (82.1%), Brazil (71%), Colombia (60.8%) and Chile (15.6%).
Although the main driver of growth for IP applications in Latin America has been foreign patent applications, domestic applications in the region have also experienced significant growth.
Considering IP filings (patents, trademarks and industrial designs) by residents (both domestic applications and applications by residents at a foreign office) of the aforementioned Latin American countries, there has also been a considerable rise from 2003 to 2013, led by Mexico, with an overall increase of 127.8%.
Thanks to the increasingly stronger IP systems that have been developed over recent decades in Latin America, both foreign and domestic investors have invested in the new economic opportunities in Latin America.