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October 16, 2006

NE Asian Patenting Tsunami

WIPO reports patent activity worldwide for 2004. The most common press report is how the Chinese have got patent fever, but the Mainichi Daily News naturally angles that Japan continues to file the most patents.

The ranking for 2004 applications, the last year for which figures are available worldwide: Japan, the United States, the European Patent Office, South Korea, China. In terms of patent grants, the ranking: the United States, Japan, China, South Korea.

China is on a tear as a capitalist roader, filing more than 130,000 applications in 2004, split about equally between locals and foreigners, a six-fold jump from 1995. But in Japan, 80% of the 450,000 2004 applications were filed by natives. In the U.S., 41% of the 403,050 applications filed were from foreigners.

WIPO observes, "Patent statistics are increasingly recognized as useful indicators of inventive activity and of technology flows." "The use of the patent system is growing quickly in the northeast Asian region." Worldwide, over the past nine years, average filing growth rate is 4.75%.

How does this work? The press is reporting a press release from WIPO, which doesn't have the press release on its site?!

Posted by Patent Hawk at October 16, 2006 12:03 AM | International