The global patent filings recorded a 5% rise in 2021 reflecting that innovation has not been hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Accounting for about 78% of the total filings at an annual growth rate of 10%, Asia continues to be the global hub for companies that seek territorial patent protection with China as the major hotspot, finds GlobalData.
Kiran Raj, Practice Head of Disruptive Tech at GlobalData, comments: “The great leap of patent filings in Asia to sustain as the global patent powerhouse is pronounced by the growing demand for international intellectual property (IP) rights, notably from high-tech companies. The growth is anticipated to accelerate in the coming years backed by the heightening significance of global supply chains and the rise in economic globalization.”
Darshana Naranje, Senior Patent Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “On the other side, the upward trend in patent filings of the Asia-based companies could be attributed to the significant rise in their R&D investments encouraged by government subsidies. Asia by large is dominated by China owing to its utility model patent system, as well as innovation-friendly policies to maximize patent filings.”
GlobalData’s patents landscape annual report, ‘Patent Statistics and Analysis 2021’, highlights key patent filing trends in various Asian countries.
China continues its hegemony by accounting for 77% of the patent filings in Asia with an annual global growth rate of 13%. Huawei, State Grid, and Beijing Electronics were among the top 10 global filers from China. Despite being on the US export blacklist, Huawei filed over 25,000 patents to secure the highest annual growth of 12% with its research focus on cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), and 5G.
Japan accounted for 12% of the patent filings in Asia with a marginal global growth from the previous year. Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Canon were among the top 10 global filers from the country. Mitsubishi has filed over 23,000 patents with focus on industrial automation, including automation program control systems, data processing systems, and air conditioning systems.
South Korea contributed to 7% of the patent filings in Asia with a annual global growth rate of 7%. Samsung and LG were among the top 10 global filers. Samsung grabbed the top spot with its research radar on 5G, AI, and sustainability. The tech giant filed nearly 33,000 patents with 3% annual growth to extend its innovative prowess in 5G around wireless communication networks, data transmission, and antenna systems.
Naranje concludes: “Despite the pandemic, Asian countries held strong and continue to expand their patent research. Beneath the layers, however, most of the China’s patent applications are in question by experts to have goals beyond innovation such as obtaining government subsidies or gaining high-tech enterprise status. Nonetheless, the overall IP from Asia is largely driven by high-tech companies, and the growth trend will accelerate in the next few years to complement its position as the global patent powerhouse.”