Insight: Which Country Files the Highest Number of Patent Applications?
If you say it is Japan, you were right. From the late 1960s to until recently Japan used to be the country that filed the highest number of patent applications.
If applying for patents is the highest yardstick for innovation, Japan was the mecca of innovation. But not anymore. It is neither the United States nor Germany. Yes, they both continued to be innovation powerhouses in the latter half of the twentieth century. And, in the mid-1990s, everyone thought that Korea is the new black horse. But No!
It is China. In 2010, China surpassed Japan to be the country that filed the highest number of patent applications. And, it did not stop there!
As you see in the data from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), China is by far the mecca of innovation compared to any other country in the world (1,204,981 applications). In fact, it is a staggering four times high than that of the second country in the ranking, the United States (295,327). China filed almost 25 times more patent applications than Germany!