Nation passes 1 million mark in yearly patent applications

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, January 26, 2011
Adjust font size:

It took a decade and a half from 1985 to 2000 for China to register its first million patent applications, a figure it easily surpassed last year alone when 1.22 million applications were filed, according to the latest statistics released by the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO).

The number of applications for inventions, utility models and industrial designs rose 25 percent last year from the 980,000 filed in 2009.

SIPO granted 815,000 patents last year, an increase of 40 percent over 2009. More than 90 percent came from within China.

The continuing rise in patent applications shows the national intellectual property strategy begun in 2008 has promoted growth in innovation, Bao Hong, SIPO's vice-commissioner, said at a recent news conference.

Invention patents, which have the most stringent requirements and are seen as a major index to evaluate innovation, rose 27.9 percent to 293,000 filings. Almost 75 percent were filed by domestic applicants.

Nearly 60 percent of invention patents granted in 2010 went to Chinese applicants, compared to about 40 percent in 2005.

Increased intellectual property awareness and improved proprietary innovation over the past five years have brought about the marked change in the source of patents now granted, Bao said.

Businesses took the lion's share in domestic invention filings with more than half the total - showing the "leading role of companies in innovation", she added.

Patent filings from abroad rose 15.3 percent last year to 98,000 applications, a stark contrast with the 10.9 percent drop in 2009.

Amid sluggish global economic recovery, foreign companies have rallied and stepped up their pace of patent filings in China, Bao said.

Last year's figure even surpassed pre-crisis levels, according to SIPO.

Despite the surge in numbers, many domestic applications still fall short in quality.

An average overseas invention patent contains 17 claims for rights - a measure of the scope of creation - while the average domestic filing has six.

An average overseas filing has 29 pages explaining and illustrating the complexity of an invented technology, while an average domestic document contains just nine pages.

Domestic patents are now clustered around new materials, metallurgy, medicine and digital, telecommunication and computer technologies, while foreign patents are focused on audio-visual products, semiconductors, optics and transportation, said Gong Yalin, director-general of SIPO's Planning and Development Department.

But as more Chinese companies go global they are also seeking overseas intellectual property protection.

International filings from China through the Patent Cooperation Treaty totaled about 13,000 applications in 2010, a sharp increase of 61.3 percent over 2009.

China received more than 4.29 million applications from home and abroad between 2006 and 2010 and had an annual average growth rate of 20.7 percent over the period.

"Inspired by the national intellectual property strategy, interest and capacity in innovation has heightened significantly, which provides a strong boost to building an innovation-driven country," Bao said.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from