Chinese patent filings lead the world in 2021 amid innovation drive

The technological achievements in 6G were revealed during the 2022 Wuzhen World Internet Conference in Zhejiang Province on Wednesday. Wang Jing / China Daily

BEIJING – A recent report showed that China ranked first in terms of global patent filings in 2021, ahead of all other countries, highlighting its strong momentum in building an innovation-oriented country.

The Chinese Intellectual Property Office received 1.59 million of the total 3.4 million patent applications filed worldwide in 2021, according to the Global Intellectual Property Indicators report released this week.

Patents filed in China are similar in size to the combined total of the next 12 countries ranked from second to 13th, according to WIPI, which compiled its latest data based on information provided by about 150 countries and regions.

In 2021, high-value patents in China were 7.5 per 10,000 people, up 1.2 from 2020, according to National Bureau of Statistics data published in August 2022.

In particular, the country’s innovation in sectors such as next-generation communications, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and clean energy has brought the number down.

A report by the National Intellectual Property Administration revealed that Chinese patent filings in 6G technology accounted for more than 30 percent of the global total.

Also, Chinese patent applications in the field of artificial intelligence accounted for about 70 percent of the global total, according to an index published this month by the China Center for Information Industry Development.

Chinese companies’ patent applications in quantum computing — a leading technology — have jumped from 137 as of September 2020 to 804 by October 2022, according to the Global Quantum Computing Technology Patent Ranking List.

In March this year, the International Energy Agency published a report titled – “Tracking Clean Energy Innovations: Focus on China” – indicating that China has become a major player in energy patenting within a short period of time, particularly in the strategic sectors in which it is present. Chinese. Inventors account for a growing share of global activity, including solar photovoltaics, electric vehicles, and lighting technologies.

In 2018/19, Chinese inventors filed about six times as many international patents as they did in 2008/09 for batteries and solar photovoltaic, and eight times as many electric vehicle technologies, according to the International Energy Agency.

In addition, about 80 percent of Chinese patents in energy-related climate change mitigation technologies are protected abroad, indicating their improving quality.

The IPI report also showed that China experienced the fastest growth – 17.6 percent – in applicable patents in 2021, overtaking the United States to become the highest in terms of net growth of enforceable patents.

By the end of September this year, Chinese patents in force had exceeded 4 million, more than a third of which originated from emerging strategic industries, according to NIPA.

Among them, the privately owned ones in the country increased significantly. The 500 largest private companies in China in 2022 saw a 53.6 percent annual growth in terms of patents in force, according to data released by the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce in September.

China has also seen significant growth in industrial design. It received applications containing 805,710 designs in 2021, equaling more than 53 percent of the global total — China now has the most active industrial design registrations worldwide.

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