In 2015, a total of 73,627 patent applications were filed with the TIPO, of which 44,415 applications were for invention patents, 21,404 for utility model patents and 7,808 for design patents. The number of applications was on the decrease.
In terms of applications by country, 41,869 (-8.7%) applications were filed by domestic applicants (a decrease of around 4000), of which 17,282 (-9.3%) applications were for invention patents and 20,138 were for utility model patents. Foreign applicants filed 31,758 applications, a slight decrease. The number of invention applications filed by foreign applicants was close to the number in 2014.
Taking invention applications for the last three years as an example, the number of invention applications filed by foreign applicants stayed at about 27,000 per year, whereas the number of invention applications filed by domestic applicants has decreased every year.
Breaking down the number of applicants by their country of origin, Japan topped the list (a total of 13,495 applications for the three types of patent application), followed by the US, mainland China, South Korea, and Germany.