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China’s Patent Application Boom

Posted on Oct 2, 2014 in Blog, Intellectual Property by Enshan Hong

Enshan Hong and Kent Cheng, partners in the Intellectual Property Group with VLP Law Group, recently published an article with the Daily Journal titled, “China’s Patent Application Boom.” The article discusses China’s recent boom in patent applications and its impact on patents on a global scale.

The rate of global patent filings is increasing quickly worldwide and a main reason for this proves to be the increase in patent filings in China. For three years China has remained the global frontrunner in patent applications filed. In 2013, over 825,000 patents were filed in China, showing a 26.3 percent increase from 2012.

Despite this massive growth, it is still unclear if China can transform these patent applications into innovation that has impact on a global scale. 

The Chinese government has taken steps to encourage innovation over the past thirty years. Increasing spending on research and enrollment in higher education, initiating the Medium to Long Term Plan for the Development of Science and Technology, as well as implementing different patent subsidy policies are just a few examples.

Despite concerns of high cost and examination standards of patents in China, some Chinese corporations are beginning to broaden their reach and file more applications internationally. A large percentage of international applications in the past 2 years have come from 2 Chinese telecommunication companies, Huawei and ZTE.

Increased patent filing by Chinese companies and investors opens the door for US companies to acquire these different patented technologies.

However, with a rising number of patent applications comes a rise in patent litigation. The majority of the disputes are between Chinese companies and Chinese patent holders. Additionally, Chinese corporations often find themselves facing charges of patent infringement.

The growth of patents filed in China is expected to continue. This growth may have a major impact on the world economy, as patent holders watch closely for changes in innovation, acquisitions and litigation that will surely result.

To read the full article, please click here. (subscription required)

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