Israel is still the top country in the Middle East when it comes to the number of patents filed, despite an overall downward trend, according to a recent United Nations report.

The 2009 World Intellectual Property Indicators, released by the United Nations affiliated World Intellectual Property Organization, reveals that Israel ranks in the top 20 countries globally despite a decrease of 5.8 percent in Israeli patent registration in the period covered by the report.

A majority of the patents are being filed for use in international markets, especially the US and the EU, and most of them are for medical technology such as biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. A large number of patents are also filed in the fields of telecommunications and semiconductors.

Israel also ranked number 12 globally on the index for patents filed per gross domestic product and the World Intellectual Property Organization also recently named Israel as one of 15 countries in the world issuing patents that are automatically recognized and accepted by all countries around the world.