Canada was among the world's top 10 nations that filed the highest number of patent applications last year. Canadians filed 36,161 patent applications, compared with 1.54 million applications filed by China. (Michelle Parise via CBC)

Canada among the world’s top 10 innovators, but China leads the way

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Canada was among the world’s top 10 nations that filed the highest number of patent applications last year but China was the undisputed leader, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) reported Wednesday.

Nearly half of the 3.3 million global patent applications in 2018 came from China and Asia accounted for two thirds of the world’s patent, trademark and industrial design applications last year, outpacing other world regions in technology development, the specialized UN agency said.

“Asia continues to outpace other regions in filing activity for patents, trademarks, industrial designs and other intellectual property rights that are at the centre of the global economy,” WIPO director general Francis Gurry said in a statement in Geneva.

“China alone accounted for almost half of all the world’s patent filings, with India also registering impressive increases. Asia has become a global hub for innovation.”

Canada filed 36,161 patent applications, compared with 1.54 million applications filed by China, which accounts for more than 46 per cent patent applications around the world, according to WIPO’s annual World Intellectual Property Indicators (WIPI) report.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ranked second, with 597,141 applications. It was followed by the Japan Patent Office (JPO), with 313,567 applications, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), with 209,992 applications, and the European Patent Office (EPE), with 174,397 applications.

China also led in the fields of trademark applications, industrial designs and plant variety filings.

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