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Patents: China 5th, India nowhere in top 10

Last updated on: February 10, 2010 15:48 IST

Image: The Great Wall of China

China is growing stronger in the field of scientific research, while India lags far behind, according to a new data issued by the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization, a United Nation agency that promotes the protection of intellectual property.

The data for 2009 reveal that Indian firms and scientists filed one-tenth of the patent applications filed by their Chinese counterparts during the same period. China ranked fifth in the list of the top 10 patent filing countries.

To know more about which other countries made it to the top 10, read on.

China: Rank 5

China filed 7,946 patent applications last year.

China's efforts are sharply focused on 16 fundamental sectors. Among them are high-end chips, semiconductor manufacturing, next generational wireless communications, software, pharmaceuticals, large aircrafts and space systems, including high-resolution Earth-observation systems.

The government also intends to use China's very large domestic market to encourage the international community to embrace and support inventions from Chinese companies.

. . .

Patents: China 5th, India nowhere in top 10

Image: A tourist holds tourist guide books as she visits the Red Fort in the old quarters of Delhi.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters


India put in a poor show and managed to file only 761 patent applications last year followed by Singapore (594), Brazil (480), and South Africa (389), among others.

India's performance in patent filings dropped sharply from 1,070 in 2008, which indicates that there is no sustained push to accelerate research and development activities.

Patents: China 5th, India nowhere in top 10

Image: The Statue of Liberty.

United States of America: Rank 1

The country filed 45,790 patent applications in 2009.

The US has maintained its position as a leader in scientific research since the late 19th century.

One of the most spectacular albeit controversial accomplishments of the country has been the harnessing of nuclear energy.

American scientists are always experimenting with other renewable energy, including solar power. Although solar power generation is still not economical in much of the US, recent developments might make it more affordable.

Patents: China 5th, India nowhere in top 10

Image: The city of Tokyo.

Japan: Rank 2

The country filed 29,827 patent applications in 2009.

Japan's owes its global competitiveness to independent research and development. In 1980, the Science and Technology Agency, a component of the Kantei (office of the prime minister) announced the beginning of 'the era of Japan's technological independence.'

Most of Japan's research and development is private though government support to universities and laboratories aid industry greatly.

Patents: China 5th, India nowhere in top 10

Image: German Economy and Technology Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg reads a fairy tale to children.
Photographs: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters

Germany: Rank 3

The country filed 16,736 patent applications in 2009.

Germany, it is said, is a land of ideas. Education, science and research play a central role here. Germany is one of the countries preferred by foreign students. It is a hub of cutting-edge international research and a constant source of new patents.

The Nobel Prize has been awarded to more than hundred German Laureates so far.

Important research institutions in Germany are the Max Planck Society, Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft and the Fraunhofer Society.

Patents: China 5th, India nowhere in top 10

Image: An investor stretches herself as she looks at stock price index in Seoul.
Photographs: Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters

Republic of Korea: Rank 4

The country filed 8,066 patent applications in 2009.

South Korea launched two satellites, Arirang-1 in 1999 and Arirang-2 in 2006. Naro Space Center, first spaceport of South Korea, was completed in 2008 at Goheung, Jeollanam-do.

Science and technology in Korea has experienced periods of intense growth as well as long periods of stagnation.

Patents: China 5th, India nowhere in top 10

Image: French President Nicolas Sarkozy (C), education minister Xavier Darcos (2nd R) speak with students.
Photographs: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

France: Rank 6

The country filed 7,166 patent applications in 2009.

As early as in 2003, the country's research and development expenditure amounted to 190 billion francs ($38 billion) i.e. 2.5 per cent of the gross domestic product.

At that time, the public sector financed 51 per cent of it and was responsible for operating (building maintenance, salaries, laboratory equipment).

France is one of the most developed countries and possesses the fifth largest economy by nominal GDP and eighth largest economy by purchasing power parity. France enjoys a high standard of living with the highest quality of life index rating in the world.

Patents: China 5th, India nowhere in top 10

Image: The London Bridge.

The United Kingdom: Rank 7

The country filed 5,320 patent applications in 2009.

In 2006, it was reported that the UK provided 9 per cent of the world's scientific research papers and a 12 per cent share of citations, the second highest in the world after the US.

Having led the industrial revolution, the UK was the world's first industrialised country. It is a recognised nuclear weapons state and has the third highest defence spending in the world.

Patents: China 5th, India nowhere in top 10

The Netherlands: Rank 8

The country filed 4,471 patent applications in 2009.

The Netherlands has a prosperous and open economy in which the government has reduced its role since the 1980s. Industrial activity predominantly consists of food-processing.

The country continues to be one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment and is one of the five largest investors in the US.

Patents: China 5th, India nowhere in top 10

Switzerland: Rank 9

The country filed 3,688 patent applications in 2009.

Geneva hosts the world's largest laboratory, the CERN,dedicated to particle physics research. Another important research centre is the Paul Scherrer Institute.

Notable inventions include the Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), Scanning tunneling microscope (it won the Nobel prize) or the Velcro.

Switzerland Space Agency, Swiss Space Office, has been involved in various space technologies and programmes.

Patents: China 5th, India nowhere in top 10

Sweden: Rank 10

The country filed 3,667 patent applications in 2009.

The public and the private sector in Sweden allocate nearly four per cent of GDP to research and development, which makes Sweden one of the countries that invest most in R&D in terms of percentage of GDP.

Sweden tops Europe in comparative statistics both in terms of research investments as a percentage of GDP and in the number of published scientific works per capita.

In innovation, Sweden is a leading country.