Features

Putting China’s patent rise into context

By Jay P Kesan, Alan Marco and Richard Miller

The growth of China’s innovation economy, with the resulting surge in patent filings, has been a signal event in the IP world. Is the country blazing an unprecedented trail or following in the well-trodden paths of previous East Asian boom economies?

By all accounts, China became a trail-blazing world economic power in the early 21st century. Adjusting for purchasing power parity, China’s gross domestic product per capita increased by 240% from 2000 to 2011. China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) currently receives more patent applications than any other patent-granting authority, with 80% of applications coming from Chinese residents. To compare, fewer than half of all applications to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) come from US-based inventors.

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