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International patent filings up 57%
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2007-02-09 11:32
China filed for 57 percent more international patents in 2006 than the year before, helping push global applications to a new record, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said Thursday.

WIPO, a United Nations agency, said the United States was the top applicant for international patents last year, filing 6 percent more than in 2005, followed by Japan, Germany, South Korea, France, Britain and the Netherlands.

International patents, applied for through WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty, are a means for companies to seek protection for an invention in several countries at once. Worldwide applications rose 6 percent to 145,300 in 2006.

China jumped to eighth place in 2006, ahead of Switzerland and Sweden. China was the 10th-largest international patent seeker in 2005.

Chinese telecommunications companies, particularly Huawei Technologies Co., made up the bulk of the Asian giant's filings last year, with pharmaceutical and information technology firms also seeking more protection.

The WIPO mechanism streamlines some procedures and can postpone national patent filing requirements, giving companies more time to research commercial interest in their products.

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