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Chinese firm becomes top patent applicant for 1st time in 2008
[January 28, 2009]

Chinese firm becomes top patent applicant for 1st time in 2008

(Kyodo News International (Tokyo) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 28--DAVOS -- A Chinese firm for the first time became the world's top patent applicant in 2008, the World Intellectual Property Organization said in a report released Tuesday.

Huawei Technologies Co., a major telecommunications company based in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province in southern China, filed 1,737 international patent applications under WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty in the reporting year, followed by Japan's Panasonic Corp. with 1,729, the report said.

Panasonic topped the list in the previous year for the first time.

Among other top applicants in 2008, Royal Philips Electronics N.V. of the Netherlands came third with 1,551 applications and Toyota Motor Corp. fourth with 1,364 applications.

Among other Japanese firms, Fujitsu Ltd. ranked 10th, NEC Corp. 12th and Sharp Corp. 13th.

By country, the United States was the largest patent applicant with an estimated 53,521 applications, followed by Japan with 28,744 applications. They were followed by Germany with 18,428, South Korea with 7,908 and France with 6,867.

While the standings of the top five remained unchanged from 2007, China moved up to sixth from seventh, replacing Britain which slid to 7th.

Patent applications filed worldwide in 2008 grew by 2.4 percent from the previous year to an all-time high of an estimated 163,800, WIPO said.

WIPO is a U.N. organization dedicated to promoting the use and protection of intellectual property and began receiving such applications in 1978.

Filing a patent under WIPO's treaty provides international protection of an invention from all signatory states without the need for multiple applications.

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