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Source: China IP News
In 2016, China saw an extraordinary growth in PCT filing (44.7%), and ZTE Corporation (4,123) overtook Huawei Technologies (3,692) as the biggest filer of international patent applications via WIPO. In 2016, China-based applicants filed 43,168 PCT applications, ranking the third position after the U.S. (56,595) and Japan (45,239). If this current trend continues, China will overtake the U.S. within two years as the largest user of the PCT System. "In an interlinked, knowledge-based global economy, creators and innovators are increasingly relying on intellectual property to promote and protect their competitive edge around the world," said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. "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'."
"With ZTE continues to expand overseas business, ZTE will attach great importance to file patent applications in new technologies and avoid patent conflicts in Europe and the US," said Guo Xiaoming, ZTE's Chief Legal Officer. In recent years, ZTE has increased R&D input in 5G, 4G, chip, cloud computing, big data, video, Internet of Things. ZTE filed the most patent applications in chip and ranked the third position in the number of granted patent of Internet of Things in the world. Besides, ZTE also ranked among the top 50 filer in wireless charging. ZTE has filed cumulatively 1,500 patent applications in 5G area. For now, ZTE has filed 68,000 patent applications in total, 28,000 of which have been granted. According to the statistics released by WIPO, in 2011, ZTE ranked the first position for the first time in PCT applications in the world with 2,826, and ranked the top for the second time with 3,906 in 2012. From 2010 to 2016, ZTE has been among the top three PCT filers in the world for consecutive seven years, becoming the only company in China to be awarded.
Huawei, ranked the second position in PCT application, also showed its innovation power in the world stage. According to the statistics, as of the end of 2016, Huawei obtained 55,000 patents in home and aboard, and more than 90% of which were invention patents. In 2016, 2,690 invention patents were granted, increasing by 11.5%. Huawei also obtained some 1,000 patent in 5G filed. The achievements can be directly attributed to its continuous R&D input. Huawei ranked the eighth among the World R&D investors, according to the latest ranking released by EU. During the ten years from 2007 to 2016, Huawei has invested 300 billion Yuan in R&D. At present, Huawei has established 16 R&D institutions, 36 union innovation centers in the world with 80,000 developers, accounting for 45% of the total staffs in the company. Thanks to its IP accumulation, Huawei earned 390 billion Yuan and 520 billion Yuan in 2015 and 2016 respectively, with yearly increase rate of 33%.
"With Chinese government issued a series of measures to beef up IP development, China's innovation environment continue to be improved, the innovative vitality of innovators continue to be unleashed," said Li Shunde, Director General of Legal and IP Department of the University of Chinese Academy of Science. Behind the PCT application growth was China's continuously focus on IP, the raising of innovation capacity of IP protection awareness of company. Besides, the patent could be regarded as a tool for Chinese companies to upgrade. The companies are becoming increasingly interested in using IP to expand overseas market and engage in international competition, which provide a strong support for China's innovative development. Some experts said that the growth of PCT application reflected the innovation power of Chinese company. With these companies, China is accelerating its journey to Created in China.