FW: China forges ahead in patenting

Eugene Garfield eugene.garfield at THOMSON.COM
Mon Oct 16 13:09:04 EDT 2006


Here is an Associated Press news story you might wish
to read.

[Subbiah Arunachalam]


U.N. Report: Sharp Rise In China Patents

POSTED: 7:43 pm EDT October 15, 2006
UPDATED: 7:43 pm EDT October 15, 2006

GENEVA -- Patent filings in China increased by more
than six times in a decade, helping the Asian country
make a dramatic leap in catching up to the world
leaders in patent activity, the U.N. agency that
oversees intellectual property said Monday.

More than 130,000 applications from Chinese and
foreigners were filed with Beijing in 2004, the last
year for which figures were available, the World
Intellectual Property Organization said. That
catapulted China into fifth place in the total number
filed, behind Japan, the United States, the European
Patent Office and South Korea.

Over 65,000 of the applications were from Chinese, a
six-fold jump from 1995, WIPO said. About the same
number of foreign individuals and companies also
applied in China, over seven times more than nine
years earlier.

Patent filings as a whole only grew at an average rate
of 4.75 percent annually during this period, the U.N.
agency said.

"Patent statistics are increasingly recognized as
useful indicators of inventive activity and of
technology flows," WIPO said in a 43-page report.

The Japanese continue to be the world's greatest
patent filers, responsible for four in five of the
nearly 450,000 applications in the country during
2004, according to WIPO. They also filed 137,800 with
foreign offices, the most of any nationality.

The U.S. came in second in applications received, with
403,050, and filings made by American-based inventors
in foreign countries, which stood at 124,600. However,
U.S. patent authorities received the highest number of
applications from abroad, over 167,000, followed by
the European office, China and Japan.

WIPO said, however, that the distribution of patent
filings worldwide "is changing over time, in
particular as (South Korea) and China are becoming
major industrial economies."

"The use of the patent system is growing quickly in
the northeast Asian region," the report said.

The number of applications received in South Korea
almost doubled between 1995 and 2004. Per capita,
Koreans were the second most frequent to file for
patent protection, behind the Japanese. Americans,
Germans and Australians rounded out the top five.

- Associated Press

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