A research capability analyse report released in Beijing Friday said China lags far behind developed countries, such as the United States and Japan in overseas patent applications.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) recently sponsored the appraisal on world science development trends and China's influence in scientific research and technological development.
Tian Xiaoyang, a senior research librarian, said in an interview with Xinhua that Japan and the United States led others in overseas patent applications and are still keeping good momentum.
While China has increased its applications for overseas patents, the rate of increase was only ten percent of that of Japan and 25 percent that of the US, Tian said.
In a list of patent applications made by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) members, China applied for 3,935 PCT patents from 1998 to 2002 and was ranked the 16th. The United States ranked first with 180,602 applications over the same period.
From 1992 to 2001, China applied for 855 patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office. From 1991 to 2000, China applied for 946 patents from the European Patent Organization, ranked the 24th.
Patent information indicates the research and development capability of a nation, Tian said.
From 1993 to 2002, according to the report, the hot areas of patent application included electronics, information technology, computing technology, bio-technology, organic chemistry, medical technology, transportation technology and new materials.
Most of the world's top 15 research powers were those holding the most technological patents, Tian said. China's share in world patents is much smaller than its research papers.
(Xinhua News Agency April 9, 2005)