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Asian Patents Jump in 2010, Decline in U.S., Mixed in Europe

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The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) reports today that the number of patent filings under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) increased in 2010, with the largest percentage gains recorded in Asia. Provisional data for 2010 indicate that 162,900 international patent applications were filed in 2010 compared to the 155,398 applications filed in 2009, an increase of 4.8 percent.

The United States continue to lead the world in the number of international patents filed in 2010 with nearly 45,000, about 28 percent of the total. But the number of patents declined from the 45,600 in 2009, a drop of 1.7 percent.

Japan, Germany, and China follow the U.S. in the number of patent filings. The number of patents in Japan increased by nearly 8 percent to more than 32,000 in 2010, while the number of patents gained in Germany by 2 percent to some 17,000. PCT patents filed in the U.S., Japan, and Germany account for some 58 percent of the total recorded by WIPO in 2010.

China, in fourth place in the rankings, had the largest percentage increase in patents from 2009 to 2010, a 56 percent gain to 12,300. Filings in Korea likewise registered a healthy 20 percent jump in 2010 to  nearly 9,700. Patents filed in India rose by 15 percent, also a double-digit percentage gain, although the total number filed in 2010 was about 1,100.

France, U.K., the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Sweden, occupied ranks 6 through 10 in the number of patents filed in 2010, although in each country, the number of filings dropped — particularly in Sweden that had an 11.6 percent decrease. Patents filed in Canada and Spain increased in 2010, by more than 7 and 10 percent respectively.

The top five corporations with international patent filings in 2010 were …

  • Panasonic Corp. (Japan)
  • ZTE Corp. (China)
  • Qualcomm Inc. (U.S.)
  • Huawei Technologies (China)
  • Philiips Electronics N.V. (Netherlands)

Read more: Chinese Patents, R&D Funds Climb in 2010

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