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Japanese report reveals which countries lead the race to file tech patents - China features as a tech-patent superpower


  • Japanese report reveals which countries lead the race to file tech patents - China features as a tech-patent superpower

    Japanese company Nikkei has released a presentation of showing which countries have filed the most technological patents from per year, from 2000 up to 2017, separating the patents into the 10 categories of:


    Conductive polymers


    Lithium-ion batteries

    Virtual reality

    Cyber security


    Autonomous driving

    Regenerative medicine

    Quantum computing



    Report overview: China beats US in key patents to secure technological dominance – report


    Report presentation: Patent Wars in Digital Era



    TOKYO -- China and the U.S. are competing to be the world's technological master 10 years from now, according to a Nikkei study of patent data in 10 categories, including artificial intelligence, blockchain and drones. Judging by the number of applications filed, China has pulled away in nine of the 10 categories, with tech giants Baidu and Alibaba Group Holding proving to be the major innovators.

    According to another data set, one that measures patent quality, the U.S. remains a formidable force. By this yardstick, 64 of the global top 100 companies are currently American.



    China scored an overwhelming victory in 2017, holding the top spot in nine categories. It accounted for 49% of all applications in all 10 categories that year.




    The presentation depicts Japan as leading the charge from 2000 - 2003, before the US was dominant from 2004 - 2011. Then, in 2012, China and the US were about tied, and then China become increasingly dominant from 2012 - 2017.


    In 2017, the most tech patents were filed by China, then the US, South Korea, Japan, Germany. And 49% of all tech patents filed that year were filed by China.


    Interestingly, China's representation in the rankings is shown to have increased very steadily year over year from 2000 until 2017, by which point China was absolutely dominant, having filed the most patents for the year in 9 out of the 10 tech categories, with the US having filed the most patents relating to quantum computing.



    It was news to me that China has been so dominant in tech patents because of all the noise I've often heard online about China not being very innovative itself, but relying on stealing US and other countries' tech. Yet their patent filings trend offers a different picture.


    And China's government sounds like it's fed-up with being accused of stealing US tech, as China's ministry of foreign affairs reportedly has, fiercely, just thrown the US' accusations of China spying, hacking, and technology theft back at it, by charging that the US government has "conducted large-scale, organized and indiscriminate cyber theft, tapping and surveillance on foreign governments, businesses and individuals, a fact already well-known to all", adding that "Facts have proven time and again that as the largest state actor of espionage in the cyber space, the US is worthy of the name of 'Empire of Hackers' ", and that the US has "no credibility" on the subject of hacking because it “keeps playing the victim of cyberattacks, like a thief crying ‘stop thief’!”

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