In 2011, for the first time ever, China led the world in patent applications, surpassing both the U.S. and Japan, according to a report released this month by the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO).
Worldwide, patent filings increased by 7.8 percent between 2010 and 2011 to reach 2.14 million. Trademark applications rose by 13.3 percent, the same rate as in 2010. Domestically, U.S. patent applications rose by 5.1 percent between 2009 and 2011. But China was by far the most active player in the global IP field, leading the world in filings for patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs.