Inside Views: A Look At The Huge Upswing In China Patent Filings

Intellectual Property Watch

By Michael Sneddon

While China’s reputation for producing imitations of everything from cars to computers continues to linger, it doesn’t appear to be a deterrent for foreign corporations as they increasingly seek protection for their innovations. In fact, according to the 2014 edition of the World Intellectual Property Indicators, for the third year, China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) led worldwide patent application filings by a large margin, with 825,136 China patent filings in 2013. This margin is up 26.4 percent over 2012. Comparatively, the growth of the next three busiest patent offices lag far behind, with the United States only increasing by 5 percent with 571,612 filings, Japan down 4 percent with 328,436 and Korea up by 8 percent at 204,589.

Why the Growth?

Since the late 1990s, China’s dramatic economic growth has made apparent its need to integrate into the global IP system. The Chinese government has provided financial incentives to support patent filings by Chinese entities and the effort is clearly working.

Additionally, foreign corporations are increasingly seeking protection in China to hedge the risk of future infringement by Chinese companies. As China is set to become the largest marketplace in the world, this only makes sense. Patent rights can last for 20 years. While market trends will change dramatically over the next two decades, manufacturers don’t want to abandon China as a potential market for their core technologies.

Consider these latest trends reported by WIPO, along with some thoughts on how they are playing out in the translation industry. To continue reading this article click here.