Chinese companies witnessed the highest growth last year among leading patent filing countries at the European Patent Office (EPO), according to a report released on March 12.

The EPO Patent Index 2019 showed that patent applications originated from China at the EPO grew by 29.2 percent in 2019 to a total of 12,247, setting a record high.

In the past decade, patent applications filed by Chinese companies with the EPO have increased sixfold.

China moved up one place from 2018 to become the fourth-largest patent filing country at the EPO in 2019, trailing the United States, Germany and Japan.

In all, the EPO received more than 181,000 patent applications in 2019, an increase of 4 percent from 2018 and a new all-time high. The US accounted for 25 percent of the total applications, while Germany made up of 15 percent and Japan took 12 percent. China accounted for 7 percent.

Chinese telecom giant Huawei topped the list of all companies in the ranking of patent applicants at the EPO, up from No 2 in the previous year. Huawei was also by far the largest applicant in digital communication at the EPO in 2019, followed by Ericsson, Qualcomm and Samsung.

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