Telecom and handset giants ZTE, Huawei, and Qualcomm last year headed the list of top filers of international patent applications, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) indicated Wednesday.
According to new information released by the organization, Chinese companies like ZTE and Huawei were behind explosive growth in patent applications in 2016.
Among the top 15 countries of origin for patent applications, China was far and away the growth leader with 44 percent growth. It was followed by Italy, with 9.3 percent growth, Israel with 9.1 percent growth, India with 8.3 percent, and the Netherlands with 8 percent. The overall number of patent applications filed under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty was up by 233,000, or 7.3 percent, over 2015.
Of Chinese companies, ZTE had the most PCT applications with 4,123 published, followed by Huawei Technologies with 3,692 published. ZTE’s first place finish this year marked a two spot bump up from its third place position last year. U.S.-based Qualcomm Incorporated fell into third place with 2,466 published PCT applications.
“China-based filers are behind much of the growth in international patent and trademark filings, making great strides in internationalizing their businesses as the country continues its journey from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Created in China,’” WIPO Director General Francis Gurry commented.
But while China is leading in patent growth, the United States still led in overall applications with 56,595 in 2016, followed by Japan with 45,239 and China with 43,168.
Among patent types, WIPO indicated digital communication accounted for the largest share of published patents with 8.5 percent, followed by computer technology (8.2 percent), and electrical machinery (6.9 percent).
Among the top 10 technologies last year, medical technology saw the fastest growth with 12.8 percent, followed by optics with 12.7 percent, and digital communication with 10.7 percent.