According to a report from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), ‘World Intellectual Property Indicators’, China received 236,600 (98 percent) of new patent filings in 2016. The next biggest filer was the US, with just 16,200 additional filings.
In total, the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) received 1.3 million patent applications in 2016, more than the combined total for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (605,571), the Japan Patent Office (318,381), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (208,830) and the European Patent Office (159,358).
WIPO director general, Francis Gurry, commented: “The latest figures charting a rise in demand for intellectual property rights confirm a decade-long trend, where developments in China increasingly leave their mark on the worldwide totals.”
He said: "China is increasingly amongst the leaders in global innovation and branding."
US inventors remained in the lead when it comes to filing abroad, filing four times as many international applications as their Chinese counterparts.
Gurry stated: “Filing abroad reflects the internationalisation of intellectual property protection and the desire to commercialise technology in foreign markets."
China also topped the rankings for trademark filings in 2016.