The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) has released patent statistics for combined January and February 2020 showing a 9% decline in invention patent application filings compared to the first two months of 2019. 2019 as a whole had already shown a significant decrease in filings. Combined January/February data is often used due to variation in the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday, which can occur in January or February and cause a tremendous decrease in patent filings due to holiday closures.
Specifically, there were 224,741 invention patent applications filed, 391,865 utility model applications filed (a 9% increase) and 88,406 design patent applications filed (a 20% decrease). Annualized, these would still present a tremendous number of filings in the US, which had only 597,141 patent applications filed in all of calendar year 2018.
There were 54,790 invention patents granted, of which 20.8% were for foreign patentees. There were 238,276 utility models granted, of which only 0.5% were for foreign patentees showing the continued lack of popularity among foreigners of this potentially valuable intellectual property right. There were 105,686 design patents granted, of which 2.8% were for foreign patentees.
No reasons were provided for the decrease year on year but certainly the current epidemic had a significant influence.
The press release is available here.