World Intellectual Property Organization: China Drives International Patent Applications to Record Heights; Demand Rising for Trademark and Indus

GENEVA, March 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

China moved into the second position as a source of international patent applications filed via WIPO in 2017, closing in on long-time leader United States of America in another record year in the use of WIPO's intellectual property services for patents, trademarks and industrial designs.

Two Chinese technology companies were the top filers of international patent applications in 2017, with Huawei (number one filer) and ZTE (number two) followed by Intel, Mitsubishi and Qualcomm. Overall, inventors from around the world filed 243,500 international patent applications via WIPO, 4.5% more than the previous year.

Japan posted strong growth in 2017 but was nosed out of the second position by China, which at current trends is projected to overtake the U.S. within three years as the largest source of applications filed under WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) - a system that has helped to spread innovation worldwide since it began operations 40 years ago.  

"This rapid rise in Chinese use of the international patent system shows that innovators there are increasingly looking outward, seeking to spread their original ideas into new markets as the Chinese economy continues its rapid transformation," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. "This is part of a larger shift in the geography of innovation, with half of all international patent applications now originating in East Asia."

Demand grew by 5% for WIPO's international trademark filing service (the Madrid System) , which saw 56,200 applications led by top filers L'Oreal of France with 198 applications followed by Richter Gedeon Nyrt. of Hungary (117) and ADP Gauselmann GMBH of Germany (104).

The number of industrial designs handled by WIPO's Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs grew by 3.8% to reach 19,429 designs contained in international applications. Republic of Korea's Samsung Electronics (762 designs) and LG Electronics (668), ranked first and second respectively in the top applicants list, followed by Fonkel Meubelmarketing of the Netherlands (490).

This marks the eighth consecutive year of growth for all three WIPO filing systems.

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