Patenting — With Chinese Characteristics
41 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2014 Last revised: 10 Mar 2015
Date Written: July 22, 2014
Although many developing economies are increasingly impacting the global economy, China’s impact has been the greatest by far. Once hindered from competition by political and economic restrictions, China is now a major economic player. Curiously, China’s increased impact has coincided with an increased demand for intellectual property protection for technologies originating from China, with rising application rates from the Chinese at the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO or PTO). Indeed, more patents are needed to protect the myriad of technological innovations emerging from China.
This Article examines Chinese patenting trends in the United States over the last several decades, comparing those trends to other nations such as Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Russia, and India. Additionally, we identify the technology mix of patent applications that Chinese applicants are submitting to the PTO. The Article compares China’s patenting trends in the past decade to other patenting trends for other Asian countries from earlier decades. Ultimately, we determine that China is not unique as a historical matter, but rather an accelerated version of earlier Asian patenting trends.
Keywords: Patents, China, Innovation, International
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