Patent-application filings rose 4.9% in 2006 to over 1.76 million due to more filings by China, Korea and the US, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization. China’s share of patent filings increased 32.1% to 7.3%, compared to shares of 6.6% and 6.7% for Korea and the US, respectively. Filings for drug patents rose 1.7%, while filings for biotech patents fell 2.7%. The number of patents granted in 2006 increased 18%. Patents are increasingly being filed in more than one country. Nonresidents are also accounting for a greater number of filings, as their share of patent applications rose 7.4% in 2006 to make up 43.6% of all filings. Eight countries accounted for 74% of the applicants for nonresident filings, led by the US, Japan and Germany. Nonresidents represented the majority of filings in emerging nations.

Source: World Intellectual Property Organization

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