The number of European patent applications from Chinese companies in 2021 hit a new record of 16,665, the Munich-based European Patent Office (EPO) said on Tuesday.
In total, EPO recorded 188,600 patent applications from all over the world last year, 4.5 percent more than in the previous year. Growing at 24 percent, Chinese companies recorded the highest rate among the 30 leading patent filing countries.
"Over the past 10 years in the European Patent Office, we've seen that the number of patent applications from Chinese companies has increased four times in 2021," Aidan Kendrick, EPO Chief Business Analyst, told Xinhua.
"What we see in 2021 is continued dynamic growth of applications from China at the European Patent Office. In 2021, the rate of increase with some 24 percent, which represents an extremely dynamic development," he added.
In the field of digital communications, which accounted for the most patent applications, Chinese companies were already the biggest patent filer with a share of 29 percent in 2021. In other fields, such as biotechnology and audio-visual technology, filings by Chinese companies skyrocketed by up to 75 percent.
With 3,544 filings, Chinese tech giant Huawei filed more patent applications in 2021 than any other company, ahead of Samsung and LG from South Korea, according to the EPO.
For the first time, all top six Chinese companies, including Oppo, ZTE, Baidu, Xiaomi and Tencent, were also listed among the 50 largest European patent applicants.