Will applications for patents drop below the 3.000 base line in Spain and those for trademarks will break through the 50.000 barrier? It may not be NIKEY™, or the IBEX 35™ the statistics of Intellectual Property data we are looking at but let us not forget that at the end of the day, it also mirrors social and economic reality.
The ever-increasing wealth of information published (the positive work of the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office in this regard deserves a mention) allows us to use this data for analysis as an economic indicator and opens up a whole world of possibilities which has hardly been explored.
Cutting to the chase, with the available data already published we do not have to wait months to forecast the end of the year.
We present the first year-end forecast for 2014 of the main Intellectual Property figures in Spain and those presented before international bodies such as the OHIM and WIPO by Spanish nationals:
With this result we would like to highlight two milestones which, just as if this were a stock market index, summarise the turbulence of recent years:
On the one hand the good news is that we are waiting expectantly to see whether national trademark applications manage to break through the 50,000-application threshold (we predict they will, with around 50,100 applications) set in 2008.
This could be understood to reflect the confidence in the recovery of the domestic market back to levels seen prior to the recession. It is interesting to see how the turning point for trademark applications was in June 2013, just as consumption in Spain hit rock bottom.
Year-on-year change of National Trademark applications (Source SPTO and own creation)
On the other hand the bad news is that we fear that the base line of 3,000 national patents requested may be lost (our forecast is that it drops slightly below). The level of 3,000 national patents requested is a symbolic figure given that Spain has not dropped below this level since 2001, which, even so, reflects the calamitous state of R&D in Spain. The worst of it is that, looking at the trend in year-on-year data, it seems that there is no clear minimum level.
Year-on-year change of National Patent applications (Source SPTO and own creation)
Having low indicators in Intellectual Property application figures, typical in research processes such as patents may seem like a trivial issue, but, as well as indicating a decrease in resources allocated to R&D, will actually be reflected in the pockets of the Spanish population. This can be seen in the coverage rate of balance of payments due to ‘Royalties and income from intangible assets’ which reached 54% in 2012 (see article published in “El Economista” in June 2013 ‘End of Spain’s financial drain?’ FOOTNOTE, and has been seen to drop to 46% in 2013.
As you can see this data provides a lot of analytical material and some particularly novel findings will be dealt with in subsequent articles when the CLARKE INDEX is presented.
Article ‘End of Spain’s financial drain?’ published in “El Economista” in July 2013