China remains the largest contributor to registered patents at WIPO

2024-03-13 13:49:33Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China remains the largest contributor to the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO) patent cooperation treaty (PCT) system for international patents registration, with Huawei Technologies registering 6,494 published PCT applications in 2023, according to the official WeChat account of the United Nations on Wednesday.

The latest data from the WIPO showed the number of international patent applications by Chinese innovators through the PCT system has ranked first in the world, as overall international registrations of IP via WIPO softened slightly, and China and the US remained as the world’s top users of WIPO’s patent system in 2023.

In 2023, there were a total of 69,610 PCT filings from China, among the total number of 272,600 globally, accounting for about 25 percent, WIPO said. Though a small decrease of 0.6 percent from the previous year, China continued to be the top origin of PCT applications. The US came in second with 55,678 applications, representing a 5.3 percent drop year-on-year.

Innovation activity keeps expanding despite rising interest rates and economic uncertainty, the WIPO said on March 7, and filings through WIPO’s PCT system dropped 1.8 percent, marking a first decline in 14 years.

“Applications in the international trademark system fell 7 percent while use of the international design system bucked the trends to grow by 1 percent with expanded activity by China,” it said.

“Higher interest rates and economic uncertainties cast a shadow on innovation activity in 2023. But declining inflation rates forecast for 2024 and hotspots like India, Southeast Asia and beyond may provide more business confidence and innovation investments, setting the stage for a recovery in international IP fillings later this year,” said WIPO Director General Daren Tang.

The world’s innovation hub is shifting eastward as well. Countries in Asia represented 55.7 percent of international patent applications via WIPO last year, up from 40.5 percent one decade ago, the official noted.

Apart from the WIPO's PCT, China also holds leading positions in the Madrid and Hague systems for international IP registrations. By the end of 2023, China had set a new global benchmark with 4.99 million valid invention patents, including 4.01 million domestic patents, making it the first country to surpass 4 million valid domestic invention patents, according to China National Intellectual Property Administration.

China attaches great importance to international patent cooperation and intellectual property protection. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing in January that in the 30 years since joining the PCT, China has actively participated in the revision and improvement of international rules such as those of the PCT and continuously improved the domestic IP legal system, while carrying out fruitful cooperation with the WIPO.

"IP is an important source of support for innovative development. With the support of patented technology, China has continuously improved its IP quality and efficiency to accelerate innovation," Wang noted.


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