The USPTO recently criticized the manner in which the number of patent and trademark filings in China is influenced by the Chinese government.
The USPTO reported that in 2019, the number of Chinese patent and trademark applications accounted for almost half of the global total. In China, there were 7.8 million trademark application filings and 4.3 million patent application filings. China also accounted for more PCT applications than any other country.
These filings, however, were influenced by "non-market" factors such as Chinese government subsidies and mandates, according to the USPTO.
The USPTO said that, in 2019, there were 77 subnational trademark subsidy measures in China. Those measures covered domestic and foreign applications. And the subsidies often exceeded the cost of registering a trademark. The USPTO found that following the subsidies, there was a "surge" in fraudulent trademark applications originating from China.
In 2020, China directed its state-owned enterprises to increase their international trademark filings by 50%.
For patent filings, China has had subsidies in all of its provinces and municipalities, according to the USPTO. Those subsidies can exceed the actual cost of obtaining a patent.
In 2020, China directed its centrally owned enterprises to double their patent holdings by 2025.
The USPTO offered no suggestion on how to remedy the situation. It merely concluded that the "non-market" factors hurt legitimate IP rights holders.