The center of gravity in intellectual property is shifting east. Outside of Japan, the U.S. and Western Europe used to dominate the patent game. But since 2000, according to data from the World Intellectual Property Organization, the portion of internationally filed patents granted for IP developed in Asian countries has soared—with China leading the way. While the most recent annual patent figures aren’t final, the trend is clear: From 2000 to 2015, the number of patents developed in China jumped tenfold, from 5,680 to 56,312. And in 2018, China’s IP office received a record 1.54 million patent applications, or nearly half the global total.
Source: World Intellectual Property Report 2019, WIPO
Note: Data shown are for International Patent families, which refer to whole sets of patents covering the same invention in one or more countries.
A version of this article appears in the January 2020 issue of Fortune with the headline “Patent Power Tilts to Asia”
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