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China becomes important applicant for patents in Europe: EPO president

2015-02-27 10:03 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

China has become one of the important applicants for patents in Europe in recent years, said European Patent Office (EPO) president Benoit Battistelli in the capital city of Belgium on Thursday.

Battistelli made the comment during an interview with Xinhua before the press conference as the EPO released its annual report 2014 in Brussels.

He introduced that the patent filings received by the EPO in 2014 hit a new record high of 274,174, growing by 3.1 percent compared with the previous year.

Filings from China reached 26,472, accounting for about 9 percent of the total, said he.

Among the top five countries with patent filings, China ranked the fourth, after the United States, Japan and Germany while followed by South Korea.

Moreover, the filings from China increased by 18.2 percent with the previous year.

"The increase is very impressive, and illustrates the dynamism of the Chinese economy and its stronger innovative capacity," said Battistelli.

"The applications from China are concentrated into one field, which is digital communication. Two Chinese companies, HUAWEI and ZTE, represented almost 70 percent of all the Chinese applications," explained the president.

Scientific institutions, research centers, universities from China were also quite active in patent applications as he pointed out that China Academy of Sciences, Peking University and Tsinghua University are on the list of the top 20 applicants from China.

The EPO granted about 64,600 patents in 2014, of which China only accounted for 2 percent. Battistelli explained that the granting of a patent tend to cost three to four years on average, so it was not surprising to see this result, and he stressed that the number of patents granted to applicants from China has grown rapidly than before.

Battistelli added that the EPO was happy to see the progress made by China as the EPO and China's State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) have a long tradition of cooperation.

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