According to data released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) by inventors from around the world in 2017 increased 4.5% from the preceding year to 243,500, with China being a major driving force behind the growth.
By country of origin, China, with 48,882 applications (43,091 in 2016, up 13.4% year-on-year), ranked second (third in 2016) after the US with 56,624 applications, while the third to fifth places were occupied by Japan, Germany, and the Republic of Korea, with 48,208, 18,982, and 15,763 applications respectively.
In terms of top five applicants, the Chinese technology companies of Huawei (4,024 applications) and ZTE (2,965) took the first and second spots, followed by Intel Corporation of the US (2,637), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan (2,521), and Qualcomm Incorporated of the US (2,163). And the top three fields of technology were computer technology (8.6% of the total), digital communication (8.2%), and electrical machinery (6.8%).
In the realm of trademark applications, the total number of applications filed via Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks in 2017 was 56,200, up 5% from the preceding year. China with 5,230 applications (3,200 in 2016, up 36.3% year-on-year) ranked third (fourth in 2016) by source of application during the year after the US (7,884) and Germany (7,316), while France (4,261) and the UK (3,292) were in the fourth and fifth positions.
The most-designated classes in international trademark applications during the year were computers and electronics (9.8% of the total), followed by services for business (7.9%) and technological services (6.2%).
(Source: China Patent Agent (H.K.) Ltd.)