Both Chinese and foreign company are aggressively filing patent applications in China in a bid to take advantage of IP protection and promote commercialization of their IPRs, according to the World Intellectual Property Indicator (WIPI) issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. "At present, China is tightening the screw of IP protection, a step further from the previous policy of gradually enhancing protection. Chinese government's determination in creating a sound business climate is clear when it stressed protection of the lawful rights and interests of foreign businesses and heightening of IP protection," said Li Shunde, Researcher of Institute of Law, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Innovators across the globe filed 3.17 million patent applications in 2017, up 5.8% for an eighth straight yearly increase, according to WIPI report. Global trademark filing activity totaled 12.39 million, while that for industrial designs reached 1.24 million. China recorded the highest application volume for each of these IP rights, according to WIPI report.
Filing applications in overseas market reflected that applicants want to expand market share in the targeted countries. In 2017, the U.S. applicants filed 230,931 patent applicants overseas, ranking the first position in the world. China ranked the fifth place with 60,310, increased by 15%. "It shows that more and more Chinese companies began to venture out to seek wider market. In parallel, a sound IP protection climate represents an important component of China's rapid economic growth and even the whole world, “said Li Shunde.
In terms of trademark, in 2017, China National Intellectual Property Administration had the highest volume of filing activity with a class count of around 5.7 million, followed by the U.S. (613,921), Japan (560,269), the European Union Intellectual Property Office (371,508) and the Islamic Republic of Iran (358,353). Among the top 20 offices, the Islamic Republic of Iran (+87.9%) and China (+55.2%) reported high annual growth.
"Demand for IP protection is rising faster than the rate of global economic growth, illustrating that IP-backed innovation is an increasing critical component of competition and commercial activity," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry in the report. "In just a few decades, China has constructed an IP system, encourages homegrown innovation, joined the ranks of the world's IP leaders and is now driving worldwide growth in IP filings."