China has maintained a good position as a global tech giant. Despite the decrease witnessed among major economies, China strode its way with an increase of 9.9 per cent in 2020 as compared to the filing in 2019
European Patent Office (EPO) comes up with the Patent Index 2020 addressing the filing activity going on at the EPO office in the last year. This comprehensive index compares the total filing activity being done at the EPO office and also with the country-wise filing statistic.
The filing shows a slight reduction in the number of filings as compared to filing in 2019. A slight reduction of 0.7 per cent was noticed in 2020 with just over 180,000 patent applications being filed. United States holds the top position among individual countries with 44,293 EPO patent filing. In the ranking, the US, Germany, and Japan hold the first, second, and third positions despite the decrease in filing for all three countries. The US, Germany, and Japan show a reduction of 4.1 per cent 3 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively.
In the Index, the performance of China was much better making its efforts in maintaining a good position as a global tech giant. Despite the decrease being seen among major economies, China strides its way with an increase of 9.9 per cent in 2020 as compared to the filing in 2019. China with 13,432 patents was ranked fourth place keeping it ahead of France with 10,554 patents. France also witnessed an increase of 3 per cent in filing, whereas South Korea also witnessed a steep rise in the filing, with an increase of 9.2 per cent application filed as compared in 2019, accounting for 9,106 patent applications.
With China making its major mark as a global tech giant, the major increase in the filing was done due to the filing activity of the telecom firm Huawei. Huawei has been ranked second in the Patent Index among all entities filing for the patent. With 3,113 patents, it has achieved almost a quarter of all the Chinese filing at the EPO. Nevertheless, Huawei was ranked first among the entity filing in 2019, therefore, the filing for Huawei has decreased in 2020. The heavy filing has marked Huawei being the undisputed leader in the 5G wireless technology and its patent portfolio is proving to be increasingly valuable. Huawei is also increasingly marking its way in building technical standards for 5G wireless systems.
It can also be noted that the huge increase in the filing can be attributed to the efforts being undertaken by China's Communist government for democratizing intellectual property rights and protection. China's expansion in the field of patentability in areas of software and business method patents will prove to be a major role in China becoming the global leader. China has also passed the Fourth Amendment to Chinese Patent Law which will introduce punitive damages and also establish the Patent Linkage system.
Talking about the sectors, the Index shows the sectors of which there has been a large number of filings Medical technology with 14, 295 patent filings took up the top spot and overtook digital communication with 14,122 patent filings. Mostly the top 10 technical fields for 2019 have been the same as that of 2020. The medical technology taking up the top spot can be attributed to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the medical and healthcare system around the world.
Digital communication and computer technology accounted for more than 15 per cent of the total patent filing in 2020. Huawei was the top applicant for digital communication with 1868 patents filed and fourth in computer technology with 409 patent applications in 2020. The top computer technology filing was done by some of the American giants such as Microsoft, Intel, Alphabet, etc. with some Asian firms, such as Samsung, Oppo, Sony, etc. remarkably doing good.