The world economy is recovering from the steepest economic downturn since the Great Depression of the
1930s. In such a situation, companies’ strategies and public policies towards innovation and intellectual proper-
ty (IP) rights are central to promoting sustained economic growth and a confident approach to the future.
At the same time, the IP system is continuously changing. New technologies and business models are emerging,
challenging established policies and practices. New and growing threats to the environment and human welfare
have surfaced, throwing the spotlight on technologies which may offer at least partial solutions.
For firms, policymakers, and the public at large to better understand these changes and their implications for
the IP system, a sound empirical base is required. World Intellectual Property Indicators, WIPO’s annual report on
trends in the use of IP rights, seeks to contribute to this base and support evidence-based decision-making.
As with the first edition in 2009, this year’s report offers a comprehensive overview of the current utilization
worldwide of different forms of IP rights – patents, utility models, trademarks, and industrial designs. This edi-
tion also expands on last year’s reporting in several areas. Notably, it presents statistics on microorganisms for
the first time, and introduces a variety of new patent-based indicators (for example, academic patents by field
of technology, trends in internationalization, and trends in patent applications for selected fields of technology).
An entirely new “special theme” feature offers an analytical background on the impact of the economic crisis
and recovery on innovation. In addition to analyzing IP filing trends for 2009, it describes the historical relation-
ship between IP filings and the business cycle. It also looks at innovative behavior more broadly and presents evi-
dence on how some of the largest companies have adjusted