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International Patent Law Research Guide

About this Guide

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This guide covers resources for patent law in jurisdictions outside the United States.  Other guides of interest:

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Key International IP Web Sites

Collections of International Patent Information

Patents Internationally

Share of Top 1000 Patent Law Firms by Country

"Patent law firms, which are among the top 1000 in the world, are found mainly in the USA, Japan, China, Germany and South Korea. The USA leads the ranking by a considerable distance. 333 companies or 33% of all top law firms are headquartered here. The other countries of the top 5 hold shares between 13% and 7%. Together these are already 762 of the 1,000 patent firms. In all other nations, a maximum of 4% of the top law firms can be found and overall 24% of the top patent law firms. Conversely, this means that the five most important nations unite 76% of all top firms."

Image and text retrieved from, (c) 2016,, 

Map of Patent Statistics

"[T]he proportion of the world's patents granted per year is represented for each nation by its size on the map.  The number of patents granted by a nation per year may have no relationship to the creativity of people living in that nation. Note that regions of the world where many innovative people live are under-represented in patenting. "

Image and caption retrieved from​. Image © Copyright 2006 SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan), 

Patent Filings (PCT) Represented Per Country (2015)

Compared to general trends since 1978, the year 2015 showed some changes. "Australia ousted Sweden from the top 10, all other nations remain on the front seats. The ranks are changing partially but significantly. The US and Japan remain at the top with 28% and 24%, while Germany (7%) and the UK (4%) are being outperformed by China (14%) and South Korea (8%). Thus, emerging Asian countries overtake nations which are traditionally IP-strong. While Germany is still at a similar level as South Korea, Great Britain drops significantly and must defend its lead over France, which also comes in at 3%. Italy, Canada and Australia with 1-2% complete the explicitly stated states of the top 10."

Image and text retrieved from, (c) 2016,


Patents Per One Million Inhabitants (2015)

"The average of all countries is 28 patent applications processed per million inhabitants and year. The “Other Countries” constitute all nations who have not represented at least 100 patent applications that have been published in 2015. European nations are largely to be found above the average. Below average are mostly emerging and developing countries."

Image and text retrieved from, (c) 2016,