In my last post, I was complaining about our poor showing as a country of origin for International Patent Applications in 2006. I've managed to dig out the 2007 report now and at least we're not in minus territory anymore. But our position is not fantastic. Here is the relevant link. It makes for interesting reading.
As with 2006, Korea and China were the big movers. China has now moved into 7th position and Korea into 4th. Australia is at 13th position.
The Economist published a table of International Patent Applications per billion dollars (US) of GDP. Relating the number of International Applications to GDP gives an indication of a country's ability to generate ideas. The Economist acknowledges that it's a crude indicator. But I take heart in the fact that such a report was generated. It gives support to my call for government to encourage the filing of patent applications as part of its innovation strategy.
Israel is at the top of the list. Australia is eleventh, immediately after France, which follows the US. South Korea is up there again at fifth. China is still quite low down at fourteenth. At its rate of growth of 38% as opposed to our 2.6%, it won't be long before it's jockeying with Korea for top spot.
If anyone still doubts the need for patent applications, they're out of step. To quote the 2007 report: "Growth rates in the filing of PCT applications have been particularly dynamic over the last nine years. It took 18 years from the beginning of PCT operations in 1978 to reach 250,000 total applications, but only four years to double that figure (500,000), and another four to double it again (1,000,000)."