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When it comes to patents, China is hard to beat

Creative minds of the human race never cease. Every day, there are new inventions, new products, new movies, new books and new "anything you can think of" being developed or created. That, of course, results in new patents and trademarks being filed.

According to a recent report from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), patent applications in 2016 increased by 8.3 percent from 2015. Unfortunately, the United States cannot take credit for the majority of those patents. That trophy belongs to China, who was responsible for 98 percent of the increase.

China's patent office alone received an increase in 2016 of 236,600 applications, bringing their patent application total to 1.3 million. They had more total applications filed in 2016 than the United States, Japan, Korea and Europe combined.

Not only patents, but world trademark applications also increased to approximately 7 million -- an increase of 16 percent. Industrial design applications were also on the rise, increasing to close to 1 million -- an increase of 10.4 percent. China topped the numbers on trademark and industrial design applications also.

Filing patents, trademarks and copyright applications is important to protect our intellectual property. If you fail to file a patent application for a product you invented or created, someone else is sooner or later bound to come up with the same idea. Once they have patented "your idea," they have the "deed" to that intellectual property.

Patenting an idea as soon as possible is the best way to protect your intellectual property and lay your claim on it. Once a patent has been filed, if someone attempts to infringe on your intellectual property, you can stand behind the patent laws. An attorney can analyze your case to determine if infringement has or is occurring, and then help you enforce your patent rights.

Source: The Sacrarmento Bee, "China dominates top Western economies in patent applications," Associated Press, Dec. 06, 2017

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