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Panasonic down to fourth ranking in international patent applications

  • 2015-03-20 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: March 20, 2015 – p.13)


 According to the number of international patent applications for 2014 announced on March 19 by the World International Property Organization (WIPO), the Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, a Chinese company that ranked third last year moved up to first place. Panasonic Corporation, a Japanese company that ranked first last year fell to fourth place which is the highest ranking among Japanese companies. As for the number of applications by country, China ranked third, gaining momentum with an increase of 19% over the preceding year, whereas Japan that ranked second decreased by 3%.


 A Chinese company moved up to first place for the first time in two years since ZTE Corporation ranked first in 2012. The Huawei increased the number of applications by more than 60% compared to the previous year, while the Panasonic decreased by about 40%. Among Japanese companies, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation rose to become one of the top ten companies. Sharp Corporation that ranked sixth and Toyota Motor Corporation that ranked eighth in the previous year felled to 14th and 12th respectively. Among the top 20 companies, 12 are Asian companies including Japanese ones.


 The results are based on the tabulation of patent applications made in countries that participate in the Patent Cooperation Treaty. It has become an indicator to show the technological capability of corporations or universities and the degree of globalization. By country, the U.S., which has many IT (information technology) companies and a large number of patent applications made by universities, ranked first.


 The total number of international patent applications was 214,500, up 5% from the previous year, which marks the highest record. “The weight of intellectual property is shifting from the edge to the center of economic system,” says WIPO Director General Gurry. This seems to have supported the increasing trend.


 The Number of International Patent Applications for 2014

 (Spot Report, the number in parenthesis is for the previous year)



Number of applications

1 (3)

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd (China)


2 (4)

Qualcomm Incorporated (U.S.)


3 (2)

ZTE Corporation (China)


4 (1)

Panasonic Corporation (Japan)


5 (12)

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Japan)


6 (5)

Intel Corporation


7 (9)

Ericsson Corporation (Sweden)


8 (21)

Microsoft Corporation (U.S.)


9 (11)

Siemens Corporation (Germany)


10 (10)

Royal Philips (Holland)


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