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China houses 1 million domestic invention patents in 2016

In 2016, the number of invention patents of China for the first time exceeded 1 million, sources from the press conference held by SIPO on January 19 said.

According to the statistics, in 2016, SIPO received cumulatively 1.339 million invention patent applications, an increase of 21.5%, ranking the first position in the world for consecutive six years. SIPO granted 404,000 invention patents, 302,000 of which were granted to domestic applicants, up 14.5%. As of the end of 2016, the number of invention patents stood at 1.103 million in China (Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are not included), and that of invention patents per 10,000 heads reached 8. The top 10 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) in the number of invention patents per 10,000 heads were Beijing (76.8), Shanghai (35.2), Jiangsu (18.4), Zhejiang (16.5), Guangdong (15.5), Tianjin (14.7), Shaanxi (7.3), Liaoning (6.4), Anhui (6.4) and Shandong (6.3).

Huawei (4,906), Sinopec (4,405) and LeEco (4,197) ranked among top three in acceptance of applications for invention patents filed by domestic companies (Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are not included). In terms of invention patents granted to domestic companies (Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are not included), the top ten companies were State Grid (4,146), Huawei (2,690), Sinopec (2,555), ZTE (1,587), BOE (1,228), Tencent (1,027), Zhuhai Gree Electric Appliances Corporation (871), PetroChina (867), Lenovo (763) and Hua Hong Semiconductor Limited (721).

In 2016, SIPO received 45,000 PCT applications, a year-on-year increase of 47.3%. Among the 45,000 PCT applications, 42,200 of which were from domestic, up 48.5%, 2,800 of which were from aboard, up 31.2%. There were 19 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) that filed more than 100 PCT applications in 2016, an increase of 3 over 2015. Among all provinces, Guangdong ranks the first with 23,600 applications. Beijing, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Shandong and Zhejiang, each has applied for over 1,000. The PCT applications filed by the above 6 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) have taken up nearly 90% of the national total amount.

According to the statistics, China filed 4,834 patent applications among the countries (China are not included) along the Belt and Road Initiatives, an increase of 47.1%. 18 countries received patent applications from Chinese applicants, an increase of 3 over 2015. In 2016, the countries along the Belt and Road Initiatives filed 3,697 patent applications in China, an increase of 18.2%.

According to a representative from SIPO, the statistics has presented four features. Firstly, as the number of invention patents exceeded 1 million, China has become the third countries which housed 1 million invention patents after the U.S. and Japan. As of the end of 2016, the number of invention patents per 10,000 heads reached 8, increasing by 1.7 compared with that of 2015. Secondly, both quality and quantity of invention patent saw a rise. In 2016, the proportion of domestic invention patent application accounted for around 40% of the total patent applications, and domestic companies filed and obtained more than 60% of the invention patents. Thirdly, China’s patent layout in optical and engine are inadequate, lagging behind those of the developed countries. Fourthly, Chinese applicants show strong interests in filing patent application in foreign countries. During the process of implementing China’s “Going global” strategy, a series of home-grown innovative enterprises that focus on participating in international competition with the help of intellectual property rights have led Chinese applications through PCT to a new historic high. However, China still lags in overseas patent layout capability and performance compared to the developed countries.

Source: SIPO