Hello Maryanna, and thank you for a most interesting question.
The type of information you are looking for on international patent
statistics is periodically compiled in a report called the "Trilateral
Statistical Report". This report is prepared by the European Patent
Office (EPO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the United States
Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), although it includes information
from other countries as well.
You asked about data as of December 31, 2002, but I'm afraid that,
since 2002 ended barely a month ago, the numbers have not yet been
compiled by any of patenting agencies. These compilations and
comparisons take a great deal of time to put together, and then be
cleared, by all the countries involved. Instead, the most recent data
from the Trilateral report was published in the year 2000, and can be
That report notes that there have been 4.4 million patents (formally
called "patents of invention" in the report) that have been issued
around the world.
Of these 4.4 million patents:
1,403,783 are from European countries.
1,242,853 are from the United States
1,005,304 are from Japan
716,948 are from other countries.
The actual data from the report can be found here:
These numbers alone don't tell the whole story. Many of the patents
filed in one part of the world are filed from another part. For
instance, about 25% of all patent in Europe are granted to U.S.
applicants, while while 20% of U.S. patents are granted to Japanese
applicants. The recent (1999 and 2000) breakouts of country-of-origin
data can be found here:
I hope this answers your question to your satisfaction. Let me know
if I can be of further assistance.
Clarification of Answer by
04 Feb 2003 09:22 PST
And regarding Socal's comment, I agree that he/she has found a useful
site, but as far as I can tell, it only has data from the US Patent
Office, and does not include European or Japan patents as does the
But if you have any questions about any of this, don't hesitate to use
the "Request for Clarification" button, and I'll be glad to provide
some more detail.