China Overtakes U.S. as the World’s Largest Filer of Patents

Posted by Reading Time: 2 minutes

Dec. 17 – China overtook the United States as the world’s largest patent filer, according to the 2012 World Intellectual Property Indicators Report released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) last week.

According to the report, China’s State Intellectual Property Office became the world’s largest patent office by processing 526,412 patent applications in 2011 from home and abroad, compared to 503,582 in the United States and 342,610 for Japan. Over the last 100 years prior to 2011, only Germany, Japan and the United States have ever held the top spot.

“Even though caution is required in directly comparing IP filing figures across countries, these trends nevertheless reflect how the geography of innovation has shifted,” Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO, said in the report.

According to the report, even under the sluggish global economy, total patent filings worldwide passed the 2 million mark for the first time last year. From 2009 to 2011, the number of global patent applications increased by 293,900 – with China taking up 72 percent of that growth. In 2011, patent filings worldwide grew by 7.8 percent  year-on-year, exceeding 7 percent growth for the second year in a row.

Dezan Shira & Associates is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia.

For further details or to contact the firm, please email, visit, or download the company brochure.

You can stay up to date with the latest business and investment trends across China by subscribing to The China Advantage, our complimentary update service featuring news, commentary, guides, and multimedia resources.

Related Reading

Intellectual Property Rights in China (Second Edition)
From covering protocol for dealing with trade fairs, to the application processes for trademarks, patents, copyright and licensing, as well as dealing with infringements and enforcement, this book is a practical reference for those concerned with their IPR in China.

China Overtakes U.S. as World’s Leading FDI Destination

Injecting Machinery and IP into China as Registered Capital