Northeast Asia – Center Of Innovation And Patenting


Patent Applications

Northeast Asia, comprising China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, has become the dominant region in the world for patent applications. In 2019, Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications from China, Japan, and Korea accounted for 49% of the worldwide total. This exceeded applications from North America and Europe.

Within the region, domestic patent applications have also ballooned. In 2019, there were 1.4 million invention patent applications in China, compared to 620,000 utility patent applications in the USA. Given the size of the Chinese population and its economic growth rate, as well as the strong, manufacturing-intensive economies of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, we expect that Northeast Asia will increasingly dominate worldwide patent applications over the coming 20 years.

Large Japanese and South Korean companies have had some of the world’s largest patent portfolios for many years. They are increasingly being joined by China’s large technology companies.