23 November 2016
Geneva
Reporter: Barney Dixon

China breaks record as biggest innovator


Chinese inventors filed more than a million patent applications in 2015, pushing global patent filings to a new record high.

According to the latest World Intellectual Property Indicators report from the World IP Organization (WIPO), 2015 saw nearly 2.9 million patent applications, with more than a million attributed to Chinese inventors.

The next most prominent filers were US-based, with 526,296 patents filed in 2015, then Japan with 454,285.

Chinese patent applicants filed mainly within their own borders, however, with only 42,154 filed outside of China, though this has risen steadily over recent years.

Comparatively, US inventors filed 237,961 patent applications abroad.

Further, China’s patent office received 1,101,864 patent filings in 2015, including Chinese natives and overseas inventors, making it the first office to achieve more than a million applications in a single year.

These new stats represent a 7.8 percent increase in patent applications filed since 2014, indicating a rising demand for patent protection.

WIPO director general Francis Gurry said: “As policymakers seek to invigorate growth around the world, it is encouraging to report that intellectual property filing activity saw healthy progression in 2015.”

“While China continues to drive global increases, IP use grew in most countries in 2015, reflecting its increasing importance in a globalized knowledge economy.”

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