The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has reported that patent filings in China have increased seven-fold in the last 10 years. China has now moved to the fifth place in the list of largest sources of patent filings, overtaking Germany, highlighting an increasing prominence of Asian economic powers in intellectual property. Japan is at the top of the patent league, followed by United States, the European Patent Office and South Korea. The top five patent offices in this list, including China, accounted for three-quarters of all patents filed in 2004.
WIPO report shows that the patent filings across the globe have increased in line with the economic growth in the last two decades, almost doubling to 1.6 billion in 2004. Patent filings in China and South Korea have surged, since these two countries have emerged as major industrial economies in Asia. Most of the patents filed in China in 2004 were by foreign companies and the case was different in Japan and South Korea, where more than half of the patents were filed by local companies.Â Â Â