On August 27, 2021, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released a report entitled Development Status of the Patent Agency Industry (2020). According to the report, as of the end of 2020, the number of Chinese patent practitioners has reached 53,090, among which 23,193 are practicing patent attorneys, and there are 3,253 patent agencies (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan). 

From 2011 to 2012, the number of patent agencies across China increased 43. In 2013, the number of agencies nationwide was close to 1,000 and more than 100 agencies have been added every year from 2013 to 2015. Beginning in 2016, the number of patent agencies has entered a stage of rapid growth, with an annual growth rate of more than 20%, reaching 22.7% in 2019 compared to 2018. As of the end of 2020, the total number of patent agencies has reached 3,253, an increase of over 500 compared to 2019 with an annual growth rate of 20.9%, an increase of 2,387 compared with 2011 with an increase rate of 276%.

In terms of geographical distribution, patent agencies are mainly distributed in Beijing, Guangdong, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai. Generally, patent agencies are distributed throughout the east and coastal economically developed areas.

There are 220 patent agencies older than 20 years and another 755 agencies older than 10 years. 1,489 agencies were established within 3 years, accounting for 45.8%. There are 1,123 agencies established less than 2 years, accounting for more than one third,

In terms of number of patent attorneys in the patent agencies, among the 3,253 agencies, 2,731 agencies have less than 10 patent attorneys, accounting for about 84% of the total number of patent agencies. There are 353 patent agencies with 11-20 patent attorneys, accounting for 10.8% of the total. There are 131 agencies with 21-50 patent attorneys, an increase of 15.9% compared with 113 in 2019; The number of patent agencies with 51-100 patent attorneys and more than 100 patent attorneys are 27 and 11 respectively.

In the past ten years, the number of people who have obtained patent attorney qualifications in China has shown a rapid growth trend. The number of people who obtained patent attorney qualification in 2011 is 12,991, and it exceeded 20,000 for the first time in 2014. After 2015, the growth rate slowed down slightly, but still increases with a trend of more than 5,000 people every year. As of the end of 2020, a total of 53,090 people have obtained patent attorney qualification certificates, 5,172 more than in 2019, representing an annual growth rate of 10.7%. From 2011 to 2020, the number of practicing patent attorneys also showed a rapid growth trend. In 2011, there were 7,235 practicing patent attorneys in China, an increase of 12.4% compared with 2010. In 2014, the number of practicing patent attorneys exceeded 10,000, and in 2019, the number of practicing patent attorneys exceeded 20,000, reaching 20,192. In 2020, the number of practicing patent attorneys continued to grow rapidly, reaching 23,193, with an additional 3,001, an increase of 14.8% over 2019.