Ratio of applications to grants

To gain a sense of the kind of innovation pipeline that many entities in China are building, it is worth looking closely at the ranking of those entities with the highest percentage of applications to grants. More than 25 have a percentage over 100% – three are over 200%. In other words, they have far more potential patents in the pipeline than their current stockpile of grants.

Representatives from China still dominate, with significant activity in home appliances and software/internet services, while research institutes/universities once again feature prominently.

Among overseas entities, Ford is the lone figure in the top 10 with just under 7,000 applications to go with its 4,408 granted assets. Further down the list there is clear evidence that a who’s who of non-Chinese corporate players are investing significant time and money in bolstering their portfolios. Ford’s automotive rivals Hyundai, Volkswagen and Honda all have more than 3,500 applications under their belts. Elsewhere, semiconductor rivals Intel and Qualcomm each have more than 5,000 applications.

Should those filings ultimately translate into granted patents, then several overseas companies might be moving up to the top 100.

Table 1. Top 20 applications to grants ratio

Company nameChina grants (patents only)China applications (patents only)Percentage of overall applications to grants
Wuhan University4,36911,229257%
Gree Electric Appliances10,11320,822205.9%
Alibaba Group6,68512,931193.4%
Nanjing University of Science and Technology3,8476,460167.9%
Ford Motor4,4086,946157.6%
China Metallurgical Group Corporation7,02810,801153.7%
Jilin University5,6327,673136.2%
Beijing University of Technology6,9489,235132.9%
Tianjin University7,99510,212127.7%
BBK Electronics10,87813,139120.8%
China National Petroleum Corporation6,6287,963120.1%
Sichuan University4,3655,220119.6%
Shanghai University5,9366,901116.3%
State Grid Corporation34,75840,015115.1%
University of Electronic Science and Technology of China6,9197,850113.5%
Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics4,7365,317112.3%

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