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Chinese Invention Patent Grants Up 63% in May 2021 YoY

The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) recently released data  indicating that 2021 year-to-date invention patent grants totaled 269,706 invention patents, a 62.4% increase in cumulative grants from January through May 2020. The percentage of patents granted to foreign patentees dropped from  19.5% to 15.7% although the absolute number of patents to foreign patentees increased from 32,389 to 42,286.  However, this may overstate the total number of patents granted to true foreigners as some Chinese entities file in the name of a foreign holding company – for example, the top foreign patentee in 2020 was Alibaba Group of Hangzhou, China according to CNIPA’s annual report for 2020.

Utility model patent grants totaled 1,046,390 versus 758,775, a 37.9% increase in cumulative grants. Design patent grants totaled 314,170 versus 287,852, a smaller 9.1% increase. Foreigners were granted just 0.3% of utility models and just 2.1% of design patents.

The full data (Chinese only) is available here and provides additional information including trademark, geographical indications, and integrated circuit layout design data.

We may start seeing a decline starting next year in patent grants as patent filings decrease due to the ending of monetary incentives (although not all incentives are ending) and continuing crackdown on “irregular” patent applications.  CNIPA itself is predicting a potential 50% drop in patent filings starting next year according to their annual budget.

Principal, and Director of the China Intellectual Property Practice

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