China is on track to become the number one source of international patents within two years, overtaking current leaders United States and Japan, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said Wednesday in Geneva.
Chinese companies and research institutions filed some 43,000 international patents last year, nearly 45 per cent more than in 2015.
The UN patent body said China has posted double-digit patent output for more than a decade, and that the country could rise from the third to the top rank very soon if it maintains its current momentum.
Patent filers in China are "making great strides in internationalizing their businesses as the country continues its journey from ‘Made in China’ to ‘Created in China’," WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said.
Chinese communication technology maker ZTE was the world's largest single applicant for international patents last year, followed by fellow Chinese rival Huawei.