+ 33.4 %
Some international patent filings statistics from Geneva. The amount of international patent filings of Chinese companies and educational institutions grew with a stunning 33,4 percent in 2011 to 16,406. This means that more and more Chinese companies and educational institutions value overseas patents to protect their inventions. The U.S. still leads the applications with 26.7 percent of the total share, followed by Japan (21.4 percent), Germany (10.2 percent) and China (9 percent).
Please note that there is no such thing as an international patent. Under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) you can file a standard national or regional patent application (international patent filing), and designate one or more countries. After that each jurisdiction decides whether or not to grant you a patent for that designated country. The moment of the international patent filing establishes the filing date for all designated countries. 18 months after the filing date or the priority date, the international application is published by the International Bureau at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in one of ten languages, which includes Chinese. In case the international patent application only designates the U.S., this publication is not automatically published.
Since January 1, 1994 China is a member the PCT. China's State Intellectual Property Organization is one of 16 institutes which offers the services of the International Searching Authorities (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authorities (IPEA).
There are 4 Chinese companies in the top 100 of companies that filed the most PCT applications.
1. ZTE Corporation 2826 applications
3. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. 1831 applications
4. Huawei Device Co. Ltd. 327 applications
87. Alcatel Shanghai Bell Co. Ltd. 176 applications
Of the educational institutes there is only one Chinese institute that secured a position in the ranking. With 36 international patent applications Tsinghua University in Beijing landed a shared 493rd position with Korean institute Postech Foundation, University of Pittsburgh and Danmarks Tekniske Universitet.
See WIPO's press release here.