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China climbs to fourth in world patent league

A surge in patent applications from China has contributed to a large increase in worldwide patent filings in the past two decades, according to a report published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on 14 November.

The World Intellectual Property Report 2011–The changing face of innovation says that annual patent applications filed in patent offices around the world increased from 800,000 in the early 1980s to 1.8 million in 2009. Of these, 229,000 applications were made to China’s State Intellectual Property Office from China-based companies, constituting 13 per cent of the world’s total. This compares with 93,000 patent applications made in 2005; and 25,000 in the year 2000.

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