Wednesday, April 8, 2020

China Surpasses US In New Patents For First Time

In an ongoing trend to watch, China has surpassed the U.S. as the top country applying for new international patents in 2019 to the World Intellectual Property Organization. It's the first time that the China has been upended the U.S. since WIPO began tracking patent filings in 1978.
This latest report underscores a battle for tech innovation leadership among the two economic superpowers, the U.S. and China. The two markets have been battling for status in a tech cold war that has seen a "splinternet" or decoupling develop as politics and Silicon Valley markets have collided.
China has logged a 200-fold increase in only 20 years to 58,990 applications in 2019, up from only 276 in 1999, when China's entrepreneurial boom began, pointed out WIPO General Director Francis Gurry. The U.S. weighed in with 57,840 patent applications in 2019, followed by Japan at 52,660 with other countries much further down the ranks.
The 2018 findings showed that the U.S. and China were nearly on par, with the U.S. in the lead at 22 percent of filings, trailed closely by China at 21%.  Observing China's climb, the patent organization had predicted that China would surpass the U.S. in 2020 but that leap occurred a year earlier, in 2019. 
Chinese tech giant Huawei remained the top filer among companies, with 4,411 patent applications, far outdistancing Mitsubishi at 2,661, Samsung at 2,334 and Qualcomm at 2,127. Of the top 10 companies, four are from China, two from Korea, and one each from Germany, Japan, Sweden and the U.S.
Followers of Silicon Dragon will recognize that these latest findings are not to be unexpected. The trends are well-documented in my latest book, Tech Titans of China.