China accounted for 98% of the total growth of global patent applications, said a report issued at a news conference at the United Nations Office in Geneva on Dec. 6.
The annual World Intellectual Property Indicators showed that global innovators filed a total of 3.1 million patent applications over the last year, up 8.3% for a seventh straight yearly increase.
The number of patents applied by Chinese innovators outnumbered the combined total from the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and the European Patent Office.
"China is increasingly amongst the leaders in global innovation and branding," said World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Director General Francis Gurry.
According to him, the latest figures charting a rise in demand for intellectual property rights confirm a decade-long trend, where developments in China increasingly leave their mark on the worldwide totals.
China's State Intellectual Property Office received the highest number of patent applications in 2016, a record total of 1.3 million. Asia's share of all applications filed worldwide has increased from 49.7% in 2006 to 64.6% in 2016, primarily driven by strong growth in filings in China.
Gurry believes that the huge population and market in China, as well as improvements in the intellectual property protection system, have helped the country be innovative.