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According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) the number of international patent applications from China has risen by 212% since 2000. This giant growth rate is indicative of the rapidly growing technology industry in north east Asia, with both Japan and the Republic of Korea experiencing similar increases (162% and 200% respectively.)
Alongside Japan and the US, European countires comprising of the UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and Finland occupy the top 15 filers However the growth rates in Asia eclipse all of the most prolific European countries. The biggest annual growth in patent applications from the EU-25 was in Finland: 11.6% in 2005. During the same period, the number of applications from China rose by 43.7%.
Following last month's article on lagging EU innovation after the EIS innovation scoreboard was published, this adds further weight for Europe to increase its spending in research and innovation, if it aims to compete with the US and Asia.