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China files record number of European patent applications in 2022

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-03-29 01:28

An employee works on a chip production line in Suqian, Jiangsu province. FANG DONGXU/FOR CHINA DAILY

BERLIN - Chinese companies and inventors filed a record high of 19,041 patent applications at the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2022, the Patent Index 2022 of the office revealed Tuesday.

This marks an increase of 15.1 percent year-on-year, the highest among the 20 major patent filing countries.

Overall, the Patent Index 2022 shows that despite the pandemic and economic uncertainties around the globe, activities related to technical innovation remained robust. The office received 193,460 applications in 2022, up 2.5 percent from the previous year.

The top five applicant countries are the United States, Germany, Japan, China, and France, with China and the United States being the main engines of growth in patent filings.

In the company ranking, Huawei was still the largest patent applicant at the EPO in 2022, filing 4,505 patents, up more than 27 percent year-on-year. LG of South Korea, Qualcomm of the United States and Samsung of South Korea ranked second to fourth.

Apart from Huawei, eight other Chinese companies also figured among the 50 largest patent applicants at the EPO, including OPPO, ZTE and Tencent.

Digital communication was once again the field with the most patent applications last year, with a total of 16,705 applications, up 11.2 percent year-on-year, closely followed by medical technology and computer technology with 15,683 and 15,193 ones respectively.

Patent filings from China, now accounting for nearly 10 percent of the total applications at the office, have more than doubled over the past five years and are nearly five times the level of a decade ago, Luis Berenguer Gimenez, an EPO spokesperson, told Xinhua.

China is not only strong in digital communication and computer technology and AI, but also growing more active in patenting in many other areas such as biotechnology and medical technology, he noted.

Given the country's focus on protecting intellectual property rights to help boost its economic growth, the record number of Chinese patent applications has a global significance for the protection of intellectual property rights, he stressed.

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