Earlier this month, we released the results of a survey that measured the American public’s perception of inventors’ impact and noted with interest two new reports by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on inventions trends around the world.

Global Invention and Innovation

Written by WIPO economists Ernest Miguélez and Carsten Fink, The International Mobility of Inventors: A New Database maps the migratory patterns of inventors worldwide. By extracting inventor nationality and residence from patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty between 2001 and 2010, the authors found that among the largest receiving countries, the U.S. exhibits the highest inventor immigration rate, followed by Australia and Canada. Both Intellectual Property Watch and IAM Magazine note that the U.S. is far ahead of any other country in terms of both retaining and attracting inventive talent.

The second report, The Global Innovation Index (GII) 2013 – The Local Dynamics of Innovation, co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and WIPO, ranks the innovation capabilities of 142 countries using 84 indicators to measure a country’s ability to invent, such as political stability, education, and regulatory environment. While the U.S. rejoined the top five most-innovative nations in 2013 (a rank it hasn’t achieved since 2009), it is Switzerland that remains in the #1 spot. The GII also recognizes the key role innovation plays as a driver of economic growth and prosperity, and the need for a broad horizontal vision of innovation applicable to developed and emerging economies. As IPWatchdog and Intellectual Property Watch note, the results from the 2013 report show a widening gap between rich and poor countries, but it finds that despite the economic crisis, innovation is alive and well. But perhaps most interesting of all is the authors’ findings on which countries would make up an “innovation dream team.”


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