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"Chinese innovation strategy bears fruit": Global Innovation Index 2018 published in New York – President of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office advocates increased efforts to protect intellectual property in Germany

Press release of 10 July 2018

Munich. According to the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2018 recently published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), for the first time, China is among the twenty most innovative countries in the world. "The ranking shows that the Chinese government's national innovation strategy is bearing fruit," Cornelia Rudloff-Schäffer, President of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA), stated in Munich on Tuesday. "China has a precise plan for the protection of innovation and intellectual property," President Rudloff-Schäffer emphasised. The Chinese government envisages an increase in the number of patent applications in China from 1.38 million in 2017 to two million by the year 2020. At the same time, the focus is on improving the quality of developments through transnational cooperation in the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) and in the area of intelligent manufacturing (smart factory). In order to cope with the enormous increase in applications, six new patent examination centres with up to 1,500 examiners each are currently being set up. China employs a total of about 11,000 examiners at present. (For comparison: Currently, there are around 900 experts working on patent examination at the DPMA, which aims at recruiting more than 100 additional engineers and natural scientists by the end of 2019.) The Chinese government also reckons on a considerable increase in the number of Chinese patent applications abroad.

"The Global Innovation Index 2018 shows that the development in China must continue to be monitored very closely in Germany and Europe," President Rudloff-Schäffer said, adding that Germany was one of the top performers in the "Global Innovation Index": "Our country remains one of the most innovative countries in the world." In the GII ranking, Germany is once again in 9th place among the 126 economies surveyed. Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden lead the ranking. Eight European countries are among the top 10, with the USA in 6th place. China has moved up from 22nd to 17th place – thus joining the top 20 for the first time.

"Focus more on the protection of Innovation"

The prestigious Global Innovation Index on global innovation performance published annually by WIPO in collaboration with the French Business School INSEAD and Cornell University in New York is based on 80 indicators. Germany occupies top positions in logistics, in research and development investments by German companies and in the number of patent applications. It shows weaknesses concerning the ease of starting a business and new business models, for example. In many other countries, it is easier to start a business. Moreover, expenditure on education is low in international comparison.

"The Global Innovation Index 2018 proves that Germany is in a good international position when it comes to innovation in terms of investment and promotion," the DPMA President concluded. "We could further expand this stable position if industrial companies and the larger part of small and medium-sized enterprises in Germany focused more on the protection of innovations, in the way that innovators in China and other countries do." Industrial property rights such as patents, utility models, trade marks and designs would make innovations more economically viable for start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and mid-caps: "Intellectual property is one of the key factors for ensuring growth and prosperity, especially in our technology-driven economy. This insight is a cornerstone of the development plan of the innovation-oriented Chinese industry."

Further information can be found on thewebsite of the Global Innovation Index.

The German Patent and Trade Mark Office

Inventiveness and creativity need effective protection. The DPMA is the German centre of expertise for all intellectual property rights – patents, utility models, trade marks and designs. As the largest national patent office in Europe and the fifth largest national patent office in the world, our office stands for the future of Germany as a country of inventors in a globalised economy. Its staff of over 2,600 at three locations – Munich, Jena and Berlin – provide services for inventors and companies. They implement federal innovation strategies and develop the national, European and international protection systems further.

Last updated: 14/08/18 

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