Nation leads surge in global patent applications
Of the 3.4 million patent applications filed around the world in 2021, China’s IP office received 1.59 million, according to the World Intellectual Property Indicators Report 2022, issued on Monday. [Photo/VCG]
Global intellectual property applications rose last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with China leading the growth, World Intellectual Property Organization data shows.
Of the 3.4 million patent applications filed around the world in 2021, China’s IP office received 1.59 million, according to the World Intellectual Property Indicators Report 2022.
The worldwide total was “slightly higher” than the pre-COVID peak of 3.3 million in 2018, and represented 3.6 percent growth from 2020, the report said.
The number of Chinese patent applications was equivalent to the total of the next 12 ranked countries.
China also witnessed growth in other IP sectors, such as trademarks, industrial designs, plant varieties and geographical indications.
“The latest data demonstrates the sustained development of the world’s IP filings amid the pandemic, which shows that people’s awareness about innovation and IP protection is being continuously strengthened,” said Zhao Zhanling, an expert on intellectual property at China University of Political Science and Law.
There were an estimated 73.7 million active trademark registrations at 149 IP offices last year — up 14.3 percent from 2020.
Of those, 37.2 million were in China, followed by 2.8 million in the United States, and 2.6 million in India, the report said.
Patents in force worldwide grew by 4.2 percent to reach around 16.5 million in 2021.
China had 3.6 million, followed by the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Germany.