GENEVA — The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on March 19 said China’s telecom giants Huawei and ZTE listed as among the top three international patent applicants in 2014 as the country saw a double-digit increase in patent filings.
Under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), Huawei, with 3,442 published applications, overtook Panasonic of Japan as the largest applicant in 2014.
US-based Qualcomm was the second largest applicant in 2014, with 2,409 published applications, while China’s ZTE took third place with 2,179 PCT applications.
Among the top 50 applicants, Huawei saw the largest increases in patent filings (1,332), followed by Tencent (727) and Microsoft (652). In contrast, Japan’s Panasonic and Sharp companies saw the largest declines.
WIPO said the United States was the primary country of origin for patent filers in 2014, with 61,492 applications and 7.1 percent growth. Japan followed with 42,459 applications, representing a 3 percent decline on 2013.
Applicants from China filed 25,539 applications, an 18.7 percent annual increase. Among the top 10 PCT-filing countries, China is the only country that saw double-digit growth in 2014.
WIPO noted that for the first time since 2007, European Union countries recorded growth in patent filings, with strong growth coming from France and Britain.
“The rapid growth in international patent applications underscores the increasing importance of intellectual property as it moves from the periphery to the center of the global economic system,” said WIPO’s director general, Francis Gurry.