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.
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