Asia drives patent growth trend in 2006: WIPO

GENEVA, Feb 7, 2007 (AFP) – Chinese international patent applications more than doubled in 2006, reflecting a “changing geography of demand” along with other Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea, the World Intellectual Property Organisation said on Wednesday. China filed 3,910 patents under the aegis of WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2006, up 56.8 percent from the previous year and comprising 2.7 percent of total applications.

South Korea’s filings were up 26.6 percent at 5,935, while Japan saw its applications climb 8.3 percent to 26,906.

The United States remains by far the biggest filer of patents in volume terms.

Its 49,555 international filings in 2006, up 6.1 percent from the previous year, gave it a global market share of 34.1 percent, WIPO said.

“The number of international patent applications continues to rise with impressive growth from north east Asian countries.

Increasingly developing country economies are capitalising on the tools of the intellectual property system for wealth creation,” said WIPO deputy director general Francis Gurry.

Forty-eight percent of all international patent applications now go through the PCT system, he told journalists.

Growth in China and South Korea reflects the increas