China makes a leap forward in the patents market

Chinese smartphone giant Huawei is working on patents for 5G technology (photo: dpa)
Chinese smartphone giant Huawei is working on patents for 5G technology (photo: dpa)

Chinese patents are burgeoning. But how ‘Chinese’ are they? Of the millions of patents China has filed, how many are original and how many owe much to the assistance and investment of foreign or multinational companies? GIS guest expert Professor James Woudhuysen sheds light on the complex world of patenting and outlines the prospects for Chinese innovation.

WHAT a difference seven months makes. In May 2014, <i>The Economist</i> lauded China’s patents. Endorsing an upbeat report by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on China’s international patenting, the magazine ran the headline, ‘Ever more inventive’.

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