China Becomes Biggest Filer of International Patents in 2019


In 2019 China surpassed the United States as the world’s leading applicant for patents with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

A report from WIPO indicates that China made a total of 58,990 patent applications with the body in 2019, ahead of the 57,840 filings made by the US that year.

Japan took third place with 52,660 patent filings in 2019, followed by Germany with 19,353, South Korea with 19,085, France with 7,934, and the UK with 5,786.

Asian countries collectively accounted for over half of global WIPO filings last year.

“China’s rapid growth to become the top filer of international patent applications via WIPO underlines a long-term shift in the locus of innovation towards the East, with Asia-based applicants now accounting for more than half of all PCT applications,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.

Over a two year period China’s patent applications have increased over 200-fold, from 276 filings in 1999 to 58,890 in 2019.

China was also host to the top corporate applicant in 2019, with telecoms giant Huawei making 4,411 published patent applications, and retaining pole position for the third consecutive year.

Huawei was followed by Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (2,661), South Korea’s Samsung Electronics (2,334), America’s Qualcomm Inc. (2,127) and China’s Guang Dong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications (1,927).

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