Over a third of global patents filed electronically

Over a third of global patents filed electronically

But figure needs to rise to improve efficiency of system, says World Intellectual Property Organisation

For the first time more than a third (34 per cent) of applications for patents are being submitted electronically, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (Wipo).

Under the 'Madrid system' run by Wipo, a patent is registered internationally when it is filed with a national or regional trademark office and two thirds of such communications are still completed by post.

Last November, Wipo unveiled a four year plan to overhaul the IT infrastructure of the Madrid system to increase the numbers of national offices filing patents electronically.

"The investment program is aimed to facilitate the creation of tools that enhance the interaction between WIPO and national or regional trademark offices, " the organisation said in a statement.

As well as taking applications, the Madrid system notifies national and regional offices of patents filed in other parts of the world.

In 2007, the number of national offices to which Wipo sends notifications electronically increased from 43 to 48.

And the number of offices that had agreed to receive these notifications exclusively by electronic means rose to six.

The IT overhaul will enable applicants to pay for trademarks electronically, as well as monitor the progress of their applications.