Mark highlighted the phenomenon of the Autumnal Patent “Hook” at the SIPO in his blog posted early last year. The data on 2012 patent filings at SIPO again shows the same pattern (see the graph below). My colleagues at UC Berkeley and I conducted a study on the seasonality of patent filings at the SIPO, which confirms Mark’s insightful observation. Our study involves monthly patent filings at the SIPO from 1986 through 2007, and we compare domestic filings with foreign filings. We find a much stronger surge in December for domestic filings after 2001, when China started to encourage innovation and patenting. Based on the grant rate and first year renewal rate, domestic firm filings made in December after 2001 seem to be of lower validity and lower value. We posit that one plausible explanation of the surge in domestic patenting in December is that domestic firms were under political pressure to meet yearly quotas set by the local governments.
More on the developing trends in China related to Intellectual Property from the prepared remarks of Teresa Rea, the Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for IP, delivered at Fordham Law School on January 28, 2013.
USPTO had released its report with links on patent enforcement in China. The reports summarize a series of roundtables and requests for information from a Federal Register notice. Others have previously blogged on some of these developments. The USPTO links are currently not all active but should be available shortly. Continue reading →
It is 2012, and China’s State Intellectual Property Office (“SIPO”) has once again released its end of the year data on patent filings for the year. While patent data and scientific citation data suggest that China is on the cusp of becoming an innovative economy, there is another trend that has subsisted for several years: China’s autumnal upward patent “hook.”
As I have remarked in several conferences during the past two to three years, the data suggests that if patents are a surrogate for innovation activity, one of the most significant factors in China’s innovation efforts are the time of the year: China innovates in the fall. February, however, appears to be a slow month for creativity, perhaps due to lack of external pressure (government subsidies, quotas), but also due to the hiatus caused by the lunar new year and the 28 day month. Continue reading →