China at Top in Global Patent Race
- 08 Apr 2020
- 3 min read
Why in News
Recently, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has highlighted that China has become the biggest source of applications for international patents in the world.
- China has pushed the United States from the top position which it has held since the global system was set up more than 40 years ago.
- The U.S. had filed the most applications in the world every year since the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system was set up in 1978.
- China filed 58,990 applications beating the 57,840 applications filed by the U.S.
- China’s figure was a 200-fold increase in just 20 years.
- China’s success can be attributed to the deliberate strategy of advancing innovations and to make the country’s economy operate at a higher level of value.
- In the current times, more than half of patent applications, almost 52.4%, come from Asia.
- Japan is on the third rank followed by Germany and South Korea.
World Intellectual Property Organization
- It is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation.
- It is a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 193 member states.
- Mission: To lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all.
- Its mandate, governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967.
- It is headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland.
Patent Cooperation Treaty
- It is an international treaty with more than 150 Contracting States.
- It makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing an international patent application.
- Such an application may be filed by anyone who is a national or resident of a PCT Contracting State.
- It may generally be filed with the national patent office of the Contracting State or at the applicant's option, with the International Bureau of WIPO in Geneva.
- The granting of patents remains under the control of the national or regional patent Offices in what is called the national phase.
- PCT is used by:
- World’s major corporations, research institutions and universities when they seek international patent protection.
- Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and individual inventors.