China and US telecoms giants lead global patent activity in 2014

China and US telecoms giants lead global patent activity in 2014

19 March 2015 – Three telecoms giants from China and the United States led international patent filings in 2014 in a fifth consecutive record-breaking year that “underscores the increasing importance of intellectual property as it moves from the periphery to the centre of the global economic system,” the United Nations reported today.

According to the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) annual review of international patent filings, a leading Chinese telecoms giant overtook a Japanese firm as the largest applicant last year, and China and the US together accounted for 87 per cent of the total growth in filings under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

Under that system, some 215,000 applications were filed in 2014, a 4.5 per cent increase over the previous year, WIPO said in a news release.

The agency also noted that “in a significant development,” the US became the biggest filer of international trademark under the so-called WIPO Madrid System, which the agency described as “a one-stop solution for registering and managing marks worldwide.”

WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said: “The rapid growth in international patent applications underscores the increasing importance of intellectual property as it moves from the periphery to the centre of the global economic system.”

The agency noted that telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. of China, with 3,442 published applications, overtook Panasonic Corp. of Japan as the largest applicant in 2014, while the US-based Qualcomm Inc. was the second largest applicant in 2014, with 2,409 published applications, and China’s ZTE Corp. took third place with 2,179 applications.