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WIPO chief calls China's patent application growth 'extraordinary'

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-16 09:04

GENEVA - The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director General Francis Gurry on Wednesday lauded China's strong performance in international patent and trademark filing.

"China's performance is quite extraordinary. In terms of international patent applications, the number of applications from China rose by 44 percent in one year," Gurry told the press.

WIPO revealed that China filed 43,168 applications under the organization's patent cooperation treaty (PCT) in 2016, up from 29,839 two years ago.

This compares to the 56,595 and 45,239 applications filed by the United States and Japan respectively.

China's trademark and industrial designs filings, which are handled by WIPO's Madrid and Hague systems, also showed strong growth last year, with China ranking fourth in terms of the number of global trademark applications made in 2016.

"China-based filers are behind much of the growth in international patent and trademark filings, making great strides in internationalizing their businesses as the country continues its journey from 'Made in China' to 'Created in China'," Gurry explained.

While the United States and Japan continue to lead the way in terms of the number of PCT applications, growth there has been sluggish, with the United States posting a 0.9 percent drop in the number of international patents filed last year.

China's growing clout is also reflected by the fact that two Chinese firms (ZTE Corporation and Huawei Technologies) topped the list of companies which filed the most PCT patent applications last year, ahead of US -based Qualcomm Inc.

Overall, some 233,000 PCT applications were registered in 2016 (up 7.3 percent from 2015), with 52,550 Madrid applications filed across the globe (up 7.2 percent).

A further 18,716 (up 13.9 percent) design applications were documented by WIPO, meaning that all three of the Geneva-based organization's international patent filing systems posted growth in 2016.

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