Chinese patent filings via the World Intellectual Property Organization continued to grow last year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, showing strong perseverance in innovation, according to a WIPO report released on Tuesday.
China and the US were the two leading users that saw marked growth in patent filings in 2020, the report said.
China filed 68,720 applications, up 16.1 percent year-on-year, and remained the largest user of the WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty, a system that assists applicants in seeking patent protection internationally.
The US followed with 59,230 applications, up 3 percent year-on-year. Other major users include Japan, with 50,520 applications, down by 4.1 percent, and Germany with 18,643 applications, down 3.7 percent.
Patent Cooperation Treaty applications are a widely used metric for measuring innovative activity. Total international patent applications filed via the system grew by 4 percent last year to 275,900, a record high despite an estimated drop in global GDP.
China-based telecom giant Huawei Technologies was the top filer of applications for a fourth consecutive year in 2020.
Five of the 10 academic institutions around the world with the most applications last year were from China, including Shenzhen University in Guangdong province, Tsinghua University in Beijing and Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.