Chinese companies have dominant positions in terms of blockchain patent filing volume, according to a report by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Magazine citing data from the Derwent World Patents Index, with Ant Group at the top of the index, followed by Tencent and Ping An Group.
The DWPI index scores companies by various metrics including average technical breadth, filing breadth, and frequency of average annual citations.
Ant Group filed 586 in 2020, a decline of about 30 percent from the 880 filed in 2019. Ping An Group filed 1,215 patents in 2020, higher than 291 filed in 2019; while Tencent filed 585 patents in 2020. Based on the index, Chinese companies among the top 10 filed 3,066 in total, accounting for nearly one third of the global total.
With the strong support of national policies and large investment, "domestic blockchain tech is at a key stage of technological breakthrough and enabling real economy," Cai Liang, executive deputy director of Zhejiang University Blockchain Research Center told the Global Times on Wednesday.
China's research institutions and enterprises are increasingly aware of the need to protect intellectual property rights, Cai said, noting that firms have taken the initiative to raise their competitiveness internationally as well as enhance their international voice and rule-making rights.
Cai also noted that it is still too early to talk about taking more market share. Chinese enterprises should pay close attention to "the overseas patent distribution of blockchain technology," and adjust their R&D and industrialization in a timely manner, Cai said, noting that firms should focus on patent technology in "practical application" to promote their international influence.
Since 2017, AntChain (Ant Group's blockchain-based technology solutions) has been the world's largest block chain patent applicant for four consecutive years, Jiang Guofei, president of Advanced Technology Business Group, Ant Group, told the Global Times. It can support 1 billion accounts technically and 1 billion transactions per day, with its per-second processing capabilities for cross-chain information reaching 100,000, according to Jiang.
A high quantity of patents doesn't necessarily mean good quality, Bai Jianmin, vice president of Ant Group told the Global Times, adding that one patent's value is decided by various metrics such as average technical breadth.
Bai explained that it's not correct to judge a company's tech investment and barriers via blockchain patent application. "It takes a long time from application to authorization, sometimes many patents became invalid before they get authorization," Bai said.