China Paces the World in PCT Filing for Three Consecutive Years2022-02-16

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) issued statistics on patent, trademark and designs in 2021 on February 10. China remained the largest user of the International patent applications filed via WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2021, pacing the world for three consecutive years since 2019, according to a report issued by WIPO.

PCT, a widely used metric for measuring innovative activity, grew by 0.9% in 2021 to reach an all-time high 277,500 applications despite the pandemic of COVID-19. China accounted for more than a quarter of PCT filings with 69,540, followed by the U.S. (59,570) and Japan (50,260).

China-based telecoms giant Huawei Technologies, with 6,952 published PCT applications, was the top filer in 2021. It was followed by Qualcomm Inc. of the U.S., Samsung Electronics of the Republic of Korea, LG Electronics Inc. of the Republic of Korea and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. of Japan.  Asia in 2021 accounted for the majority of all PCT filing activity, as part of a larger trajectory over the past two decades of the rise of Asia as an engine of innovative activity, according to WIPO.

Asia also shows its power in the list of top applicants among education institutions in 2021. The top ten list comprises six universities from China, Japan and Singapore, including Zhejiang University, Tsinghua University, South China University of Science and Technology and Suzhou University of China, and Tokyo University of Japan and the National University of Singapore. The rest four universities are from the U.S.

"It doesn't seem to be an accident that what China has done in IP filing, it is the concrete reflection of China's innovation power and is a joint efforts of IP workers and innovative companies in China," said Li Shunde, a senior IP expert with Chinese Academy of Social sciences.

Six of the top 10 technology fields recorded growth in 2021, with pharmaceuticals (+12.8%) reporting the fastest rate of growth, followed by biotechnology (+9.5%).  The growth in these fields attests to the dynamism of health-related technologies as the pandemic unfolded and continued opportunities for progress in digital technologies. Among fields of technology, computer technology (9.9% of total) accounted for the largest share of published PCT applications, followed by digital communication (9%).

Madrid System trademark filings, which reflect new business starts and creation of brands, declined at the height of the pandemic in 2020 but rebounded in 2021. It surged by 14.4% in 2021 to reach 73,100 filings, the fastest year-on-year growth since 2005, according to WIPO report.

Chinese applicants (5,272) filed the third largest number of international trademark applications using WIPO's Madrid System, tracing only the U.S., and Germany. Huawei surpassed Apple to become the fourth top filer of international trademark applications. In addition, Honor Device Company, which was spun off from Huawei in November 2020, made the list for the first time, ranking 36th, immediately after Samsung.

It is worth mentioning that on February 5 China deposited its instrument of accession to the WIPO's Hague System for the International Registration of Industry Designs, which will enter into force in China on May 5.,  China's entry into the system will allow Chinese companies and designers to seek protection for their works in 94 contracting parties, and make it easier to promote their creativity, designs and manufacturing overseas.

"Although COVID-19 related restrictions have kept humans and families apart, it cannot stop the worldwide movement of fresh ideas, innovative products and new services. These figures show that human ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit remain strong despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic." WIPO Director General Daren Tang said.


Source: CNIPA

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