Switzerland ranks among world leaders for trademark and patent filings

The pharmaceutical field recorded the strongest growth for patent filings, followed by biotechnology. A view of a Novartis manufacturing facility for innovative cell and gene therapies in Stein, Switzerland. Novartis AG

A record number of international patents were filed last year despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Switzerland was ranked eighth place in annual patent rankings published by the United Nations World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

This content was published on February 11, 2022 minutes

A record 277,500 international patents were filed in 2021 – a 0.9% increase from 2020, the Geneva-based WIPO reportedExternal link on Thursday.

Asia accounted for most international patent applications (54.1%), with China holding the top spot with 69,540 filings. The US remained in second place last year, with 59,570 filings, followed by Japan (50,260), South Korea (20,678) and Germany (17,322).

Switzerland stayed in eighth spot, but the total number of patents filed (5,386) was up by 6% compared with 2020.

For the fifth consecutive year, China-based telecoms giant Huawei Technologies topped the table, with 6,952 patent applications. It was followed by US firm Qualcomm (3,931), South Korea's Samsung Electronics (3,041) and LG Electronics (2,855) and Mitsubishi Electric Corp of Japan (2,673).

Computer technology accounted for the largest share of patent applications, followed by digital communication and medical technology. The pharmaceutical field recorded the strongest growth for filings (+12.8%), followed by biotechnology (+9.5%).

Swiss pharma giant Novartis slipped from firstExternal link to fifth place for the number of international trademark applications (94) registered in 2021. Oréal of France topped the ranking, followed by ADP Gauselmann, the Glaxo Group and Huawei Technologies. Switzerland registered a total of 3,832 international trademarks last year, putting it in sixth spot overall.

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Share this story

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?