On March 13, according to the 2019 Patent Index released by the European Patent Office, the European Patent Office received more than 181,000 patent applications in 2019. This figure is up 4% from 2018. Among them, there were as many as 12,247 patent applications in China, an increase of 29.2%, ranking fourth, with the United States, Germany and Japan ranking the top three.

From the perspective of enterprises, in the patent application ranking of the European Patent Office, Huawei ranked first with 3,524 patent applications. South Korea’s Samsung and LG ranked second and third with 2,858 and 2,817, respectively. In addition, China’s OPPO, Alibaba, BOE, Xiaomi, Baidu, CATL and other patent applications have more than 200 patent applications, ranking among the forefront of Chinese enterprises.

It is reported that the top three technical fields with the largest number of European patent applications from China are digital communications (26% of all European patent applications from China), computer technology (11%) and “electrical machines, instruments, energy” (8 %).

In 2019, the fastest growing technology sectors in China were digital communications (up 64.6%), biotechnology (up 63.5%), audiovisual technology (up 43.4%) and organic fine chemistry (up 39.8%). Overall, this shows that the patented technology portfolio from China is expanding further. The strong performance of Chinese companies in the digital technology sector is also reflected in the European Patent Office’s technology sector ranking, with digital communications taking the top spot in patent filings, showing the strongest growth to date (+19.6%).

António Campinos, President of the European Patent Office, said: “In terms of European patent filings, Chinese companies were the champions last year in terms of the number and growth rate of EPO filings”. “The contribution of Chinese companies to the unprecedented surge in the use of digital technologies shows that China is a driving force in technology fields that have become the most important areas of innovation. Promoting ongoing efforts in research and development is a powerful example of its innovation-driven economy.”

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