2019年3月19日 星期二

For the first time international patent applications from Asia was over 50%, China took the lead: an investigation by WIPO

Recently the  Nihon Keizai Shimbun (日本経済新聞) reported the following:
国際特許出願、アジアが初の5割超、中国がけん引 - 世界知的所有権機関(WIPO)調べ

2019/3/19 8:07









2019/3/19 8:07
 [Geneva = Rintaro Hosokawa] The presence of Asians in intellectual property rights was increasing. According to the number of international applications filed for patents in 2018 announced by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on 19th, applications from Asian countries exceeded 50% for the first time. China's momentum in the area of ​​communications, artificial intelligence (AI), etc. was rapidly catching up the leader the United States. Although Japan also maintained its presence, the composition of two strong players of US and China in play a leading role in technological innovation had become clearer.

According to WIPO, the number of applications year-on-year worldwide had increased by 4% to 253,000, an increase for nine consecutive years, reaching a record high. Fifty one percent of applications were from Asia, followed by Europe 25% and North America 23%. Competition for the development of new technologies such as AI and automatic driving was intensifying; companies and researchers from various countries were rushing to secure their intellectual properties.

China ranked second with 53,345, an increase of 9 percent and approaching the leading US (56,142, a decrease of 1 percent). On the other hand, US applications in leading technological innovation were on the decline. Japan ranked third which was the same as the previous year with 49,702 cases that was a 3% increase. According to WIPO's General Secretary Gurry, "China is spending a huge amount on research and development on a country-led basis to advance technology development," and predicted that "China will lead the United States within two years if this goes on."

The momentum of Korea and India also stood out. India’s year to year growth rate reached 27 percent. In India, the starting-up of 7200 to 7700 companies in six years was noted, more and more companies were making full use of the latest technologies such as IoT whcich everything would be connected to the Internet.

By individual companies, among the top 10 companies six were from China, Japan and Korea. Following the previous year, Huawei Co., Ltd., the largest telecommunications equipment company in China, accounted for about 30% of all patents related to the next-generation high-speed communication "5G". Mitsubishi Electric, which ranked second, focused on developing control technologies for automobiles. Sony, which was ninth in 2017, dropped to 13th.

As for the number of applications from educational institutions, in the top 10 list, 9 came from universities in the US and China, such as the University of California and Shenzhen University. Japan's highest was Osaka University at 11th place, and Tokyo University was at 14th place.

WIPO also announced the number of international applications filed in 2018 respectively for "trademarks" that protected the names of products and services, and "designs" that protected the shape of products. Trademarks increased 6% to 61,200, and the United States ranked first by country, second was Germany, and third was China. Designs was 5404, up 4%.

China had set a national strategy the "Made in China 2025" and focused on fostering semiconductor related companies. In response, the US Trump administration criticized China's infringement of intellectual properties and  governmental supports in forms of subsidies etc. The US’s sense of vigilance towards China was strengthening as the latter was threatening the supremacy of the former by rapidly putting resources on technological revolution.

              It seems that China is doing well in making new innovations. I am interested in knowing how the Trump administration could rectify China's infringement of intellectual properties and giving out governmental supports to companies in forms of subsidies etc. Probably, all these will be touched on in the trade negotiations now under way between the US and China.