China moved from the seventh largest in 2007 to sixth in 2008 in terms of the number of international patent applications, said an intellectual property official. The United States, Japan, Germany, Republic of Korea and France took the first five places in the rating. The country overtook Britain in the rating, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) Director Tian Lipu, quoted the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as saying.
In 2008, China filed 6,089 patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), up 11.9 percent over the previous year, Tian told a meeting held at Zhuhai, a coastal city of southern Guangdong Province. "It is also very exciting that a Chinese company filed the most applications among companies from all PCT contracting states for the first time," he said. China's IT firm Huawei filed 1,737 PCT patent applications last year, eight applications more than Japan's Panasonic.
Enterprises also played an active role in domestic patent applications. Half of the 194,000 patent applications for inventions were handed in by enterprises last year, he said. About 40,500 enterprises submitted patent applications last year, up 23.9 percent over 2007.
However, Chinese enterprises have much more work to do, Tian said. Only two Chinese
firms, Huawei and another IT firm ZTE Corporation, were in the top 100 PCT applicant
companies. They contributed one third of the country's total international applications, he
said. "Generally speaking, Chinese firms are not active enough in this field."
The SIPO and Ministry of Finance are planning a policy to provide financial assistance
to domestic companies who want to file PCT patent applications, Tian said. (Source: