Huawei tops global list of patent applications

Writer: Han Ximin  |  Editor: Stephanie Yang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2021-03-04

Shenzhen-based telecom giant Huawei Technologies topped the global list of patent applications in 2020 with 5,464 published applications, according to a report released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on Tuesday.

It was followed by South Korea’s Samsung Electronics with 3,093 applications, Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Corp. with 2,810 applications, South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. with 2,759 applications and the U.S.’s Qualcomm Inc. with 2,173 applications.

In terms of education institutions, Shenzhen University took third place with 252 applications. It was the third consecutive year for the university to enter the top three, following the University of California and MIT. Tsinghua and Zhejiang universities took fourth and fifth places with 231 and 209 applications, respectively. Among top 10 universities, five come from China, four from the U.S. and one from Japan, according to the report.

WIPO data shows Huawei has been ranked first in the number of patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) from enterprises worldwide for four consecutive years since 2017.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, WIPO received a record of 275,900 applications in 2020, up by 4 percent over the previous year.

China remained the top PCT user with 68,720 applications for 16.1 percent year-on-year growth in 2020. In 2019, China filed 59,193 PCT applications.

Other top users of the PCT system in 2020 were the U.S. with 59,230 applications, Japan with 50,520 applications, South Korea with 20,060 applications and Germany with 18,643 applications.

It is reported that 12 Chinese companies, including six from Shenzhen, entered the top 50 Global PCT patent applications in 2020. They are Huawei (1st), ZTE (16th), Ping An Technology Shenzhen Co. Ltd. (17th), DJI (21st), China Star Optoelectronics Co. Ltd. (24th) and HKC Co. Ltd. (35th).

According to WIPO data, the applications in the computer technology sector took up 9.2 percent of the published PCT applications, and it is followed by digital communications (8.3 percent), medical technologies (6.6 percent), electrical machinery (6.6 percent) and measurement (4.8 percent).

Among the top 10 technologies, the PCT applications of audiovisual technologies increased by 29.5 percent, which is followed by digital communications for 15.8 percent year-on-year growth and measurement for 10.9 percent year-on-year growth.