China may become world's biggest patent filer

Updated: 2011-11-16 22:58


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BEIJING - China's patent filings have increased rapidly in recent years and the country is expected to become the world's largest filer of patents in 2011, according to a report released on Wednesday by Thomson Reuters in Beijing.

Patent filings are soaring in most sectors of China -- there were 230,000 patents applications in the country last year, compared with less than 90,000 in 2006, the report said.

The rising number of patent filings showed improvements in protection of intellectual property (IP) rights in China, according to the report.

However, it noted that China is not as active in filing international patent applications. Only 5.6 percent of China's inventions had been filed for international patents, compared with 48.8 percent in the United States and 38.7 percent in Japan.

Despite China's lead in patent application filing volume, the country's filers still focus on the domestic market, said David Brown, president of the IP Solutions business of Thomson Reuters.

He suggested the country file more international patent applications to gain more competitive edges as patents filed only in China lack global reach.