According to the latest statistics released by the World Intellectual Property Rights Organization (WIPO), in 2013 the amount of international patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)by Chinese applicants ranked third around the world for the first time.  Such an amount surpassed the threshold of 20,000 cases and reached 21,516 cases, and which was an increasedof 15.6% over the previous year.

The total amount of PCT patent applications in 2013 worldwide was 205,000, which was increased by 5.1% comparing to the previous year, setting a new high in the history of PCT. The top 5 countries with the most applications were: 1. the United States (57,239 cases); 2. Japan (43,918 cases); 3. China (21,516 cases); 4. Germany (17,927 cases); and 5. South Korea (12,386 cases). China has transcended Germany for the first time to rank in the Top 3 in 2013, with its applications occupying 10.5% of the global application sum. The main reasons for the rapid growth in PCT applications of China may be deduced from the internationalization of the market and the incentive policies proposed by the government.

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Regarding corporate patent applicants, the No. 1 PCT applicant in 2013 was Japanese Panasonic Corporation with 2,881 applications; followed by ZTE Corporation with 2,309 applications. Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. took the third place with 2,094 applications, advancing by one place in the ranks since 2012.

As China occupied the second place of economic scale in the world and the third placeof the PCT applications among countries, it seemed the patent development of China could keepup with its economic development.Even so, China is still concernedabout the significant gapbetween its PCT applications and that of the United States and Japan, as the statistics show that the US and Japan account for 27.9% and 21.4%of the global PCT application percentage, respectively. Among the Top 50 corporate applicants, 20 of them are Japanese while 15 of themcome from the United States.

In order to achieve the goal to eliminate such a gap in the future, China should adjust its economic structure and enhance its innovation capacity on the provision of governmental subsidy policies and incentive measures.