The World Intellectual Property Organization has released its 2008 World Patent Report. The 72-page report provides a statistical overview of worldwide patent activity, including the number of patent filings, granted patents, patent families, patents in force, patents by field of technology and the cost of patenting.
I'm the librarian for research services in the Engineering and Science Library at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. I've been working with patent information since 1991, including seven years at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. I believe that the dissemination of patent information is a public good and should be promoted, especially in the education of science and engineering students.