China Leads World in Patent Applications and Trademark Filings

by | Jan 12, 2012

Thomson Reuters announced new findings on Chinese innovation today with the publication of research that analyzes global patent and trademark trends. By tracking published patent applications, examining real-world trademark and copyright infringement issues and comparing the government policies and long-term innovation strategies of China to other world leaders, Thomson Reuters research suggests that although China leads the world in patent and trademark filings, its status as a global player still faces challenges.

The following are some of the key findings of the new research:

  • China Now Leads World in Patent Filings: Published patent applications in China increased by 16.7 percent between 2006 and 2010; and this year's patent activity secures China's status as the world leader in patent application volume, as previously predicted by Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters projects that China will publish 493,000 patent applications annually by 2015.
  • Trademark Applications Surge: Since 2000, the number of trademarks registered in China has increased by more than 450 percent, far outpacing other nations, despite widespread counterfeiting and infringement.
  • Growing Influence in Scientific Literature: Over the last five years, there has been an 80 percent increase in Chinese scientific literature annual output, making China second in the world in published scientific papers. The United States, which currently has the highest overall output, grew by five percent.
  • Slow to Expand Globally: Chinese organizations are not protecting their inventions by filing patents globally at the same level as other innovation-minded countries. Currently, only 5.6 percent of China's inventions are protected with global patent filings abroad, far less than the United States (48.8 percent) and Japan (38.7 percent).
  • China's Corporate Innovation Lags: According to the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Global Innovators analysis, the most innovative companies in the world are based in the United States (40 percent), Europe (29 percent) and Japan (27 percent).
  • Global Brands Capitalize on Chinese Consumerism: In an economic environment that is expected to reach $4.3 trillion USD in retail spending by 2015, leading multinational companies have been among the top 20 trademark filers in China from 1976 through 2011.
Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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