BEIJING — China's patent applications have posted a V-shaped rebound in the first four months of this year, despite the shock from the COVID-19 epidemic, according to official data.
A man looks at the patent granted at Royole in a software town in Shenzhen, south China's Guangdong Province. (Photo: Xinhua/Li Mingfang)
From January to April, the number of patent applications on the Chinese mainland was 1.32 million, an increase of 5.7 percent year-on-year, the National Intellectual Property Administration (NIPA) said in a statement.
Affected by the epidemic, the number of patent applications in February were down by 33.2 percent compared with the same period last year, but rebounded quickly in March, with a year-on-year growth of 10.5 percent. In April, the growth rate further accelerated to 15.7 percent.
The sharp turnaround shows that market entities have fostered innovation to improve their ability to respond to the epidemic, the statement said.
The NIPA also reports an 8.1-percent increase in domestic enterprise patent filings in the first four months, and high-tech enterprises are the backbone driving the growth.
Out of the 65,000 enterprises on the Chinese mainland that applied for invention patents, about 29,000 are in high-tech industries, accounting for 44.6 percent. The data indicates each high-tech enterprise has applied for 4.9 patents over the past four months.
The number of patent filings by domestic pharmaceutical and medical enterprises grew faster still, with 9,000 invention patents from January to April, up 8.4 percent year-on-year and 9 percentage points higher than the overall growth rate.