(Yicai Global) Dec. 7 -- The global patent, trademark and industrial design application volume hit new high in 2016 as China's demand soared. China also approved more patent applications than those of the US, Japan, South Korea and the European Patent Office (EPO) combined, ranking first in the world, said the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in a report released yesterday.
In 2016, innovators around the world submitted a total of 3.1 million patent applications, up 8.3 percent, increasing for the seventh straight year. Out of nearly 240,600 new patent applications, China has accepted about 236,600, accounting for 98 percent of the total increase. The volume of trademark applications jumped 16.4 percent, reaching about 7 million, while the world's industrial design application increased by 10.4 percent, close to 1 million. The number of trademarks and designs increased thanks to China, said the annual World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report.
China is gradually becoming a leader in global innovation and branding, said director-general of WIPO Francis Gurry.
The US residents continue to lead in patent application overseas, with applications submitted abroad reaching four times the volume of China. The US is followed by Japan, Germany and South Korea. Of all the Chinese applications, about 95 percent are filed in China and only 5 percent sought patent protection abroad, according to the report.
WIPO is a major global forum for promoting intellectual property policies, services, information and cooperation. As a specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists 191 member states in formulating an international intellectual property legal framework that is in the interests of all parties to meet the evolving needs of society. It provides operational services for gaining intellectual property rights and resolving disputes in a number of countries. It also offers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from the use of intellectual property rights. Moreover, it offers its unique intellectual property information knowledge base free of charge.