Global patent filings hit record highs last year, with China leading the charge, receiving more patent applications than the United States, Japan, South Korea and the EU combined, the UN said Wednesday.
Some 3.1 million patent applications were filed worldwide last year, rising for the seventh straight year and marking an 8.3-percent hike from 2015, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said.
"These numbers are really quite extraordinary," WIPO chief Francis Gurry told reporters in Geneva. China received about 236,600 of the nearly 240,600 additional patent filings, accounting for a full 98 percent of the growth, the UN agency said.
Overall, China's State Intellectual Property Office received a record total of 1.3 million patent applications last year. In second place, the US Patent and Trademark Office trailed far behind at 605,571, followed by Japan with 318,381.