China has received over 13,000 patent applications from US patentees in the first half of this year, a major increase compared with the same period in 2005, according to an official from the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO).
"Patent applications from the United States have been increasing by over 20 percent for three consecutive years, and now account for over 20 percent of the total applications made by foreign patentees," said Mao Jinsheng, deputy director of the SIPO's development planning department.
Mao added that most of the patents are for inventions.
SIPO statistics showed that 18,000 applications were submitted from the United States for patents in China last year, 23.6 percent more than 2004 helping China rank second worldwide in terms of applications, behind Japan.
But Mao pointed out that, in terms of applications, firms from Japan and South Korea have been more active than their US counterparts.
Among the top 10 foreign firms holding patents in China, only one from the United States (IBM) is present, against five from Japan and three from South Korea.
"In order to relieve the pressure from the quick growth in patent applications, the SIPO has been working hard in the patent-examination process," said Mao. "Last year, China was listed among the top 10 countries for patent applications for the first time."
The fast growth in patent applications can be attributed to the nation's policy of encouraging innovation, said SIPO official Sun Pingping.
(China Daily August 29, 2006)