BE2C2 Report — Is China winning the innovation race? The U.N.’s intellectual property agency says China is showing “quite extraordinary” growth in international patent applications, putting Chinese applicants on track to outpace their U.S. counterparts within two to three years.
The World Intellectual Property Organization in its latest report says China posted nearly 45 percent growth in such patent applications last year, saying “the country continues its journey from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Created in China,” an indication that it’s poised to become an innovation powerhouse.
China’s explosive growth in patent applications comes with Beijing’s five-year plan for 2016-2020 to strengthen intellectual property rights, boost the number of patents per 10,000 people from 6.3 in 2015 to 14 in 2020, and the volume of patent royalties from $44.4 billion to $100 billion during the same period.
Overall, the United States remained on top in 2016 for the 39th straight year and accounted for nearly 56,600 applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, followed by Japan at over 45,200 and China at 43,200 with international patents.
Over 3,465,000 applications were received for three kinds of patents (invention, utility model and design), making an increase of almost 24% year on year.
China’s state-owned ZTE Corporation, one of the world’s biggest suppliers of network switching gear, was the No. 1 applicant last year, topping rival Huawei.
U.S.-based Qualcomm was third.
Of the 233,000 applications filed under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2016, Chinese patents accounted for 18 percent.
China’s growing strength in international patents, especially for products in mobile, video and animation technology, has helped the country post double-digit growth figures under the PCT since 2002.
According to the Newsweek, “China could beat U.S. innovation with its ‘extraordinary’ patent growth,” as it journeys to eventually become an IP and innovation powerhouse in line with its Patent Policy announced in 2015.
China Approves 38 New Trump Trademarks for His Businesses
In an unrelated news report, China has granted preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, paving the way for President Trump and his family to develop a host of branded businesses from hotels to insurance to bodyguard and escort services, public documents show.
Trump’s lawyers in China applied for the trademarks in April 2016, according to AP.
Critics maintain that Trump’s swelling portfolio of China trademarks raises serious conflict of interest questions.
China’s Trademark Office published the provisional approvals on Feb. 27 and Monday March 6.
If no one objects, they will be formally registered after 90 days. All but three are in the president’s own name. China already registered one trademark to the president, for Trump-branded construction services, on Feb. 14.
If President Trump receives any special treatment in securing trademark rights, it would violate the U.S. Constitution, which bans public servants from accepting anything of value from foreign governments unless approved by Congress, ethics lawyers from across the political spectrum say.