China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) claimed on Tuesday in a news conference that the country accounted for more than 84 percent of the world’s blockchain patent applications, despite the country’s ban on cryptocurrencies.
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Wang Jianwei, deputy director of the IT Development Department of MIIT, added that blockchain is now rapidly integrating with economic and government affairs.
China has banned cryptocurrencies, but its technology source, blockchain, is used by companies and the government. The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, an academic backed by MIIT, said in July that China has more than 1,300 blockchain companies as of March this year.
In 2021, China ranked first globally in the number of blockchain patent filings with about 33,000 applications, taking up 63.2% of the global application, followed by the U.S., and South Korea, according to a report by patent think tank PatSnap in February.
However, PatSnap pointed out that the quality of blockchain patents in China may be lacking, as only 10.5% of the patents are cited more than 11 times, compared with the U.S. at 21.5%. Also, only 0.1% of Chinese blockchain patents are cited more than 100 times, compared to 1.3% in the U.S.
The cost of filing a patent in China is close to zero, but the upside to holding a patent, or even just filing a patent, is comparatively large, as it can add to a company’s profile. John Eastwood, a Taipei-based patent lawyer and a senior partner at Eiger Law’s Greater China practice told Forkast. And many of the applications submitted do not appear to be advanced or innovative, but companies still want to submit them to create an innovative look.
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