For our recent trends analysis, I researched the number and origin of wireless patent applications in both the US and China. I decided to take that data a little further, and take a closer look at the general patent filing trends for China.
Using updated statistics only recently released by SIPO, the Chinese patent office, I discovered that, astonishingly, the number of Chinese patent applications grew at a rate of 24% over the prior year, an impressive rate not seen in China since 2005. In absolute terms, it looks like it was the single largest year-over-year increase in patent applications ever, in the world.
We have long known that SIPO was on track to become the world’s largest patent office. As early as 2008, we could have predicted that 2010 would be the year that SIPO took over the Japanese patent office for the #2 spot, and this appears to be the case. This new data shows, however, that 2011 could actually be the year that SIPO leapfrogs the USPTO to take the #1 spot for itself.
If SIPO maintains anything like its past growth rates, this is a real possibility. A lot will depend on the USPTO’s numbers, due out in the spring.
All this begs the question, however: how are companies going to leverage their Chinese patent portfolios?