China bucks the trend with more patent applications

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While the number of patent applications made in most countries declined in 2009, China bucked the trend, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said in a study released in September.

While new patent applications declined by 4.5% worldwide, there was an 8.5% increase in patent applications filed by Chinese companies, the report said.

Chinese IT companies ZTE and Huawei Technologies increased their applications by 45% and 27% respectively, while General Motors submitted 24.5% fewer patent applications and fellow carmaker Toyota 19.8% less than the previous year.

“While the strength of the recovery remains uncertain, there will likely be a continuing geographic shift of innovative activity toward new players, especially in Asia,” said WIPO General Director Francis Gurry.

According to WIPO, the drop in the worldwide total reflected uncertainties caused by the global economic and financial crisis.

Last year Tian Lipu, Commissioner of China’s State Intellectual Property Office, said his office had received 148,000 IP applications in the first six months of 2009, marking a 12% increase over the same period in 2008.

Speaking at a recent event in Singapore, Tian said domestic applications were up 23.3% and the number of Patent Cooperation Treaty applications from China had grown by 19%.

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