China Daily: Chinese patent applications at European Patent Office (EPO) increases 15% last year, the highest growth among applicant countries
Chinese article by 爱集微
English Editor 张未名
03-31 14:31

By Li Panpan

(JW Insights) Mar 31 -- Patent applications from Chinese companies at European Patent Office (EPO) grew by 15.1% last year, marking the highest growth rate among the leading 20 patent-filing countries, reported China Daily report on March 30.

Aidan Kendrick, chief business analyst at the EPO, said, "The growth rate from China continues in the double digits, and it will not be long before China overtakes Japan and Germany, whose growth rates are not at all on the same trajectory,"

The forecast came as the EPO's latest data show that Chinese companies and inventors filed 19,041 patent applications at the office in 2022, trailing after Japan with 21,576 applications, Germany with 24,684 and the United States with 48,088.

The top Chinese patent applicants at the EPO include Guangdong Oppo Mobile with 917, ZTE with 899, Tencent with 671 and BOE Technology Group with 598.

Most inventions for which Chinese companies filed patent applications in 2022 came from digital communication, computer technology, electrical machinery, audio-visual technology and telecommunications.

The technical field with the steepest growth, however, was semiconductors with a year-on-year increase of 53.6% - 711 applications in 2022, up from 463 in 2021 - moving China into second position at the EPO after the US in this sector.

"The main Chinese player in semiconductors is BOE Technology Group, which is now just behind well-established names like Intel and Samsung. We can see that Chinese companies are making determined efforts to innovate in this area," Kendrick said.

Huawei was, once again, the most active patent applicant at the EPO last year, surging by 27.1%.

The EPO said that in 2022, nine Chinese companies were among the 50 largest patent applicants at the office - up from three in 2017 - confirming that the patent portfolio of technologies from China is broadening.

"We're seeing strong growth in electrical machinery and other industries. This is the area that is covering the energy transition that bolsters worldwide development. We also see Chinese companies that are active in battery technology. Chinese battery maker CATL, for instance, is coming in as a dynamic applicant," Kendrick said.

"It's been very dynamic and continuous. We see that it has become a measure of the innovation efforts in China and the use of the international IP system by Chinese companies," Kendrick added.

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