The Other Chinese Patent Development: China’s Autumnal Patent “Hook”

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