Increasing numbers of Chinese companies applied for patents in the EU last year, and the total number of applicants surpassed that of South Korea for the first time, according to the European Patent Office.
The most applications came from the US, with 69,399, according to a report released by the EPO on Tuesday. Next came Japan and China, with 51,082 and 43,743, respectively. Patent filings from China saw the largest growth of 41.5 percent year-on-year, according to the EPO.
China was also the only one to record double-digit growth in applications among the top 10.
Chinese telecommunications services provider Huawei Technologies was the second-largest patent applicant at the EPO in 2016, with 2,390 filings. It surpassed South Korean conglomerates Samsung and LG, the report showed.
Medical technology remained the field with the greatest number of patent applications in 2016, according to the report.