China Submits 2,452 International Patent Applications in 2005, Enters World Top 10

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Statistics from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) indicate that China was the tenth biggest patent applicant in 2005, submitting 2,452 inventions, designs, and other items to the Geneva-based organization, reports China News. This marks the first time China has entered the international top ten for patent applications and reflects a 44 percent increase in Chinese filings over 2004. The United States remained the biggest applicant—accounting for nearly one-third of the more than 130,000 submissions in 2005—followed by Japan.

Meanwhile, China's domestic patent applications and approvals maintained their strong growth in 2005, with the State Intellectual Property Office receiving more than 476,000 applications, 80 percent from domestic sources. As Chinese businesses awaken to the need to protect intellectual property rights (IPR), they are driving the rapid growth in submissions. Huawei, a high-tech company based in Shenzhen in south China, has applied for more than 8,000 patents in total, including 800 patents in more than 20 countries and regions, ranking it first among Chinese enterprises.

Many leading multinational companies have relocated portions of their business to China in recent decades. But with the country's boom in technological innovation and intellectual property strategies, this has only bolstered China's own economic emergence, according to the Worldwatch Institute's latest State of the World report. In 2005, Chinese computer company Lenovo purchased IBM's personal computer division, including its globally branded "think pad" laptops. And in another sign of the times, Huawei recently acquired 5 percent of the core patents of WCDMA (Wide-BandCode-Division Multiple Access) technologies for mobile communication, an achievement hard-won among Chinese companies.

China has also embraced a strategy of boosting the nation's self-innovation capacity through education. The city of Foshan in south China's Guandong province introduced IPR education into its primary school curriculum in 2002, and will serve as a model for upcoming nationwide implementation of the plan. Zhongshan and Jinan universities in Guangdong province have set up special IPR colleges as well.