As intellectual property filings fell flat worldwide, China maintained robust growth in international applications for patents and trademarks, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization's latest report.
The WIPO report released in Geneva shows that nearly 30,000 international patent applications filed through the Patent Cooperation Treaty came from China in 2015, a 16.8-percent rise from a year earlier and allowing the country to hold onto its No 3 world ranking for the third consecutive year, after the United States and Japan.
In the report, Chinese companies showcased tremendous R&D strength, with four of them ranking among the top 20 PCT filers in the global business community.
Telecommunications giant Huawei topped the chart and ZTE was third. Both have ranked among the top three in the global PCT chart since 2013. Semiconductor developer and manufacturer BOE ranked 14th and Tencent, 20th.
In the report's university PCT rankings, Tsinghua University was eighth and Peking University, 11th. Both are headquartered in Beijing.
China is emerging as an originator of patents in 3D printing, nanotechnology and robotics, the report found. Since 2015, Chinese applicants have contributed more than a quarter of first filings worldwide in 3D printing and robotics - the highest among all countries - and close to 15 percent of nanotechnology patent fillings worldwide, ranking third. While robotics patents from China accounted for only 1 percent of the global total in 2000, that percentage rose to 25 percent in 2011.
In the sphere of international trademarks, China contributed more than 2,400 applications filed through the Madrid system in 2015 and ranked seventh worldwide, the highest mark since the country joined the system in 1989.