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China extends lead over the U.S. in global patents filings, Huawei tops global rankings for 4th year

China was the biggest source of applications for international patents in the world in 2020 for the second consecutive year and extended its lead over No. 2 filer the United States, the U.N. patent agency said this week. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the increase rate was higher for China, with a 16.1% year-on-year increase versus 3% for the United States. 

The World Intellectual Property Organisation
The World Intellectual Property Organisation says 275,900 international patents were filed in 2020. Photo: Reuters

The biggest single filer under this system last year was China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd for the fourth consecutive year. The second was South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, WIPO said.

Daren Tang, WIPO director-general, said the rise in Chinese filings is part of a longer-term trend for higher applications from Asia more broadly, with South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia all submitting more applications last year.

Unlike after the 2008 financial crisis when filings fell sharply, overall filings via WIPO’s system were up 4% overall in 2020 to a new record despite the COVID-19-induced slowdown, it said. 

“The trend is that innovation remains resilient, and the sense is that the world needs more innovation … during a crisis,” said Tang.

Source: Reuters

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