Irrepressible Rise Of China In International Patent Applications, Developing Countries Lagging 21/03/2018 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)If the United States remains the champion of international patent applications at the World Intellectual Property Organization, China is now on its heels, and knocked Japan off the second place in 2017, according to numbers provided by WIPO. Southeast Asia is now a strong source of international applications, while developing countries still stand as a poor relation of the intellectual property system, though some of them are progressing steadily. WIPO Director General Francis Gurry (center) addresses reporters today. During a press briefing today (21 March), WIPO Director General Francis Gurry commented the 2017 numbers on international applications for the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, and the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs. The three filing systems showed an increase in 2017: the PCT saw a 4.5 percent increase (243,500 applications), the Madrid System 5 percent (56,200), and the Hague System 3.8 percent (19,429). Most the attention is focused on the PCT because it is a good indicator of the relative strength of countries in the fields of technology, Gurry said. He underlined two persistent trends. One of them is that the growth rates of the PCT applications surpass those of the global economy, and the IP protection systems are used by all major corporations in the world. The second trend, he said, is the rapid rise of China in international IP applications, and more generally of Asia. The PCT growth was mainly driven by China and Japan, Gurry said. China, which overtook Germany some 5 years ago to become the third most important filer, this year overtook Japan by a narrow lead to become the second global filer. China has experienced growth rates of international patent applications higher than 10 percent since 2003, according to Gurry. Answering questions about the rise of China, Gurry said over the last 20 years, China has gone from the position of being largely a consumer of technologies to a producer of technologies. As a producer of technology China in a relatively new competitor in the world, Gurry said, adding that the country has established careful policies in order to develop its technological capacities, such as advanced manufacturing and artificial intelligence. The reality is a new competitor has arrived and a very strong competitor, a major technological competitor, he said. He noted the performance of Switzerland, with a growth rate of 2.8 percent in PCT applications, which considering the size of the country, places it in the high performers. Gurry also remarked that the companies filing the most PCT applications are all IT-related. China also saw a 36.3 percent increase in its international trademark applications, followed by Russia, with a 23.9 percent rise, he noted. On industrial design applications, Gurry said countries such as the US and South Korea are recent comers in the system. They still rank 4th and 3rd respectively. The top two filers of the Hague System are IT companies, he said, expressing the highly competitive nature of the industry where every mean of differentiation is useful. Developing Countries Lagging Behind Answering a question from Intellectual Property Watch about the fact that developing countries are still lagging far behind in international IP applications, and in particular in Africa and in Latin America, Gurry said the acquisition of technological capabilities is a long-term game that does not happen overnight. This underlines the exceptional character of the rise of China in a short period of time, he said, “because it has done it.” He added that a number of countries showed increased international IP applications, like Turkey, Brazil, South Africa, Thailand and Morocco. Having the best IP law in place is not a sufficient condition for innovation to take off. The difference of countries such as those in Latin American with East Asian countries for example really reflects fundamental structural differences, WIPO Chief Economist Carsten Fink added. On the effect of the sustained growth of intellectual property applications on the WIPO budget, Gurry said 71 percent of the WIPO revenue comes from the PCT and WIPO is “delighted” there is a lot of interest in new technologies. PCT Filing, US Leads, IT Technologies The top Patent Cooperation Treaty applicants in 2017 are: the US (56,624), followed by China (48,882), Japan (48,208), Germany (18,982), and South Korea (15,763). Apart from China, the BRICS countries remain far behind the top applicants, with India (1,603), Russia (1,097), Brazil (593), and South Africa (301). In Latin America, Mexico (269), and Colombia (142) have the most applicants, after Brazil. In Asia, applicants from Thailand filed 157 applications, followed by Malaysia (141). In Africa, applicants from Morocco filed 48 applications, 21 from Zimbabwe, 8 from Kenya, and 6 from Nigeria. Countries without any applications in 2017 are Burundi, Congo, North Korea, Congo, Gabon, and Yemen. The top PCT applicants are: Huawei Technologies (China), already in the first position in 2016, followed by ZTE Corporation (China), Intel Corporation (US), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Japan), Qualcomm Incorporated (US), LG Electronics (South Korea), BOE Technology Group (China), Samsung Electronics (South Korea), Sony Corporation (Japan), Ericsson (Sweden). US universities rank the highest in PCT applications, seven of the 10 top applicants are US universities, the other three being South Korean universities. Top PCT university applicants are: University of California (US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), Harvard University (US), University of Texas System (US), Johns Hopkins University (US), University of Florida (US), Seoul National University (South Korea), Hanyang University (South Korea), Stanford University (US), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (South Korea). Technology fields most represented in PCT international applications are computer technology; digital communication; electrical machinery, apparatus, energy; medical technology; measurement; transport; pharmaceuticals; audiovisual technology, and optics. Sectors with the largest increase since 2016 are control (instruments) (+16.7 percent), thermal processes and apparatus (+14.9 percent), transport (+11.58 percent), computer technology (+11.4 percent), and other special machines (+11.4 percent). Trademarks: US Leads, China not far The top Madrid system applicants are the US (7,884), Germany (7,316), China (5,230), France (4,261), United Kingdom (3,292), Switzerland (3,272), Italy (2,878), Japan (2,495), Australia (2,115), Russia (1,460). For the other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries, India filed 230 applications, Brazil 3, and South Africa 3. In Latin America, Mexico filed 108 applications, and Colombia 32 applications. In Asia, South Korea filed 1,032 applications, Singapore 517, Vietnam 90, the Philippines 55, Thailand 25, and Malaysia 13. In Africa, Morocco filed 112 applications, Tunisia 21, Egypt 20, and Kenya 0. The top applicants of the Madrid System are L’Oreal (France), Richter Gedeon Nyrt (Hungary), Adp Gauselmann (Germany) Novartis (Switzerland), Abercrombie & Fitch Europe (Switzerland), Apple (US), Brillux (Germany), Krka, Tovarna Zdravil, Novo Mesto (Slovenia), Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft (Germany), Aucma Company (China), Janssen Pharmaceutical (Belgium), and Biofarma (France). Designs: EU Countries in Top 10 Top filers for industrial designs are Germany (4,261), Switzerland (2,935), South Korea (1,742), US (1,661), France (1,396), Italy (1,063), Japan (831), the Netherlands (807), Belgium (457), and Turkey (421). Top applicants are: Samsung Electronics (South Korea), LG Electronics (South Korea), Fonkel Meubelmarketing (the Netherlands), the Procter & Gamble Company (US), Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft (Germany), Paleohorinos Fotistika A.B.E.E (Greece), Drylock Technologies (Belgium), Kronoplus Limited (Cyprus), Swatch (Switzerland), and Wenko-Wenselaar (Germany). Image Credits: Catherine Saez Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."Irrepressible Rise Of China In International Patent Applications, Developing Countries Lagging" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.