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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 James Woudhuysen
China’s State Intellectual Property Office, with 6,000 staff, has been the largest in the world since 2012
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