Top Patentees in China for 2020

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According to an analysis by Incopat, corporate applicants accounted for about 67% of Chinese invention patents in 2020, among which Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.’s  is by far the leader. College and university patentees accounted for about 22% with Zhejiang University continuing to rank number 1 for invention patents.  The top foreign corporate patentee was Samsung Electronics at #9. The top American corporate patentee was Qualcomm at #16.

Huawei remains the top patentee in 2020 while Alibaba makes the biggest jump upward from 2019 from 14 to 8. Intel fell off the list in 2020 and Qualcomm dropped 11 in 2019 to 16 in 2020.

Top 20 Corporate Patentees in China for 2020 (not normalized)

2020 Rank 2019 Rank Corporation 2020 Patents
1 1 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. 6393
2 4 OPPO Guangdong Mobile Communications Co. Ltd. 3580
3 3 Sinopec 2921
4 5 BOE Technology Co., Ltd. 2882
5 6 Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd. 2812
6 9 Zhuhai Gree Electric Appliance Co., Ltd. 2677
7 2* State Grid Corporation (国家电网公司) 2498
8 14 Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. 2098
9 7 Samsung Electronics 1824
10 13 Vivo Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. 1686
11 8 Midea 1675
12 2* State Grid Corporation of China

(国家电网有限公司)

1616
13 12 ZTE Corporation 1354
14   Beijing Xiaomi Mobile Software Co., Ltd. 1337
15 10 Lenovo (Beijing) Co., Ltd. 1166
16 11 Qualcomm Corporation 1158
17 17 Mitsubishi Electric Co., Ltd. 1156
18 15 Toyota Motor Corporation 1035
19   China Mobile 996
20 20 SMIC 978

* State Grid patents were normalized in 2019 leading to a higher ranking. 

The top 3 IPC classifications for 2020 patents were G06 (calculation; calculation; counting), H04 (electric communication technology), and G01 (measurement; testing).  

G06 Top Patentees

Rank Patentee 2020 Patents
1 Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. 1597
2 Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. 1464
3 OPPO Guangdong Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. 1343
4 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. 1004
5 Lenovo (Beijing) Co., Ltd. 698
6 Vivo Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. 691
7 Tsinghua University 630
8 State Grid Corporation 570
9
Zhejiang University
566
10
Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
 562

H04 Top Patentees

Rank Patentee 2020 Patents
1 Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. 4880
2 OPPO Guangdong Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. 2086
3 Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. 1289
4 ZTE Corporation 1138
5 Vivo Mobile Communications Co., Ltd. 970
6 Litong Co., Ltd. 856
7 Samsung Electronics 811
8 Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. 789
9 China Mobile 786
10 Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications 654

Chinese Patentees by Country

China was the largest patentee of Chinese patents in 2020 with Japan, United States, Germany and South Korea following.  Cayman Islands also made a showing in the top 10, perhaps because many Chinese companies form holding companies there.

Rank Country 2020 Chinese Patents
1 China 440696
2 Japan 28955
3 US 21089
4 Germany 9397
5 Korea 9311
6 France 2949
7 Cayman Islands 2722
8 Switzerland 2352
9 Netherlands 1957
10 Sweden 1451
11 Other 9249

Note that official 2020 patent statistics have not yet been released. We’ll report on it in the next few days but we expect a tremendous increase in all three types of Chinese patent filings in 2020 versus 2019 despite the pandemic.

Author: Aaron Wininger

Aaron Wininger is a Senior Attorney and Director of China Intellectual Property at Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner.

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Author: Aaron Wininger

Aaron Wininger is a Senior Attorney and Director of China Intellectual Property at Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner.