China Tops International Patent Filings in 2020 with 16.1% Increase: WIPO


China remained the biggest filer of patent applications internationally in 2020 despite the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

China was the largest user of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 2020, filing a total of 68,720 applications for YoY growth of 16.1%.

The US came in second with 59,230 applications, for a 3% increase compared to 2019, while Japan was third with 50,520 applications (-4.1% compared to 2019), South Korea fourth with 20,060 applications (+5.2%) and Germany fifth with 18,643 applications (-3.7%).

WIPO’s PCT is a widely used metric for assessing levels of innovative activity in the economy.

International patent applications filed with WIPO’s PCT hit an unprecedented high of 275,900 in 2020, for 4% growth compared to 2019 despite a 3.5% contraction in global GDP due to COVID-19.