China surpassed the U.S. as a top source of international patents in 2019

The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has released a press release, announcing that China has become the top filer of international patents in 2019. It ended the United States reign that has continued since 1978 when the Organisation was established.

The Top 10 applicant list comprises four companies from China, and six of them were in the field of digital communication. Huawei was most active with 4,411 published patents, followed by Mitsubishi, Samsung, Qualcomm, and Oppo.


Speaking about technology, 8.7% of all listings were in computer technology, 7.7% in digital communication, and 7% in electrical machinery. In addition to patents, there are also trademarks (also called the Madrid System) and industrial designs (the Hague system). In the first one, Huawei filed 131 separate applications, while Samsung is the top filer in the Hague system.

The influence of Chinese-based research and technology can even be seen in patents by educational institutions. While the University of California maintained its top rank with 470 published applications, in the top five we can see three Chinese names – Tsinghua University, Shenzhen University, and South China University of Technology.

SOURCES: WORLD INTELLECTUALPROPERTY ORGANIZATION AND CSMARENA