Politiques scientifiques et technologiques

Intellectual Property (IP) statistics and analysis


Intellectual property (IP) rights aim to stimulate innovation by enabling inventors to appropriate the returns on their investments. IP also plays an important role in the creation, dissemination and use of new knowledge for further innovation, as contained in the inventions disclosed in patent documents.

The changing landscape of innovation, the globalisation of markets and the fragmentation of production value chains, as well as the emergence of new players are changing the way market actors use IP rights and policy-makers understand rights and their role. The context in which IP currently operates is very different from the one in which IP rights were conceived. IP systems are undergoing continuous changes as they seek to optimise the balance between private and social benefits, to contribute to economic growth and the welfare of societies.

Methodological work and publications ¦ IP Data ¦ Conference on IP Statistics ¦ IP Statistics Task Force 

Recent reports

Intellectual Property Cover

World Corporate Top R&D Investors: Innovation and IP Bundles

This report looks at the innovative output of top Research and Development (R&D) investors worldwide using patents and trademarks as proxy indicators. Essentially descriptive in nature, it presents statistics about the technological profiles of companies, their trademark strategies for new products and services and the extent to which these two forms of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are bundled to protect and appropriate the returns from investment in knowledge-based assets. An analysis of these statistics provides interesting insight to the innovation strategies of this sample of world leading corporate R&D investors.


Enquiries into Intellectual Property's Economic Impact

Investment and growth in OECD economies is increasingly driven by investment in intangible assets, also known as knowledge-based capital (KBC). In many OECD countries, firms now invest as much or more in KBC as they do in physical capital such as machinery, equipment and buildings. This shift reflects a variety of long-term economic and institutional transformations in OECD economies.

The rise of KBC creates new challenges for policymakers, for business and for the ways in which economic activity is measured. Many policy frameworks and institutions are still best suited to a world in which physical capital drove growth. New thinking is needed to update a range of policy frameworks – from tax and competition policies to corporate reporting and intellectual property rights. Two key findings of phase one of the Knowledge-based capital project were that

  1. business investment in KBC is linked to growth and higher productivity, and

  2. KBC has become more prevalent in OECD economies, spreading across many different industries, growing over time in the aggregate, and developing into the largest form of business investment in an increasing number of countries. Because so much KBC is protected by intellectual property rights, IP-protected capital has taken on an increasingly prominent and extensive role in economic activity as KBC has grown.


Methodological work and publications

A series of methodological documents have been published to help design and interpret IP-related statistics in an accurate manner.

The OECD Patent Statistics Manual (2009) capitalises on new patent statistics and promotes the harmonisation of methodologies. It addresses issues regarding the complexity of patent data and provides statisticians and analysts with guidelines for building and analysing patent-related indicators. The manual is available in English, French and Spanish.

IP Data

Patent-related indicators are available at OECD.Stat (Science, Technology and Patents). Selected indicators on patents, trademarks and design are presented in the OECD STI Scoreboard

The OECD/STI Micro-data Lab contains records on IP rights documents from several administrative sources encompassing patents, trademarks and design rights. While patent data mainly rely on the Worldwide Statistical Patent Database (PATSTAT) maintained by the EPO, trademarks and design registrations are gathered from different IP offices (IP Australia, JPO, OHIM, USPTO).

Several patent-related dataset are made available to researchers upon request (from a secure password-protected server). The datasets can be used as a complement to other existing patent data sets (e.g. PATSTAT). Please fill in the short on-line form to get access to the data.

  • OECD Patent Quality Indicators Database (series of indicators capturing the technological and economic value of EPO and USPTO patents);
  • OECD Triadic Patent Families Database (set of patents jointly filed at EPO, JPO and USPTO);
  • OECD REGPAT Database (EPO and PCT patents by regions);
  • OECD Citations Database (references to patent and non-patent literature cited in EPO, USPTO or PCT patents);
  • OECD HAN database (harmonised patent applicants’ names).

Conference on IP Statistics for Decision Makers

The goal of the IPSDM conference series is to present the latest empirical evidence based on IP statistics and to discuss these findings with decision-makers from both the private and public sectors. The conference also aims to share cutting-edge knowledge on topics relevant to policy-makers, academics, companies and practitioners. The 2015 conference was held in Vienna (Austria) on November 3-4, 2015. 

IP Statistics Task Force

Project activities are conducted in close co-operation with the members of the IP Statistics Task Force, which gathers representatives from



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