The Largest Patent Prosecution Firms in China

Published On: 2023-12-06|Tags: , |2,3 min read|
When it comes to patent filing activities, China has always been a strong force to reckon with. According to WIPO’s Indicators 2023 report, the country alone accounted for 46.8% of the world’s total patent applications in 2022. Based on IP Pilot’s data, the top 1000 patent prosecution firms represented 13,370,419 applications between 2018 and 2022.

Rank: Largest 25 Patent Prosecution Firms in China

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The 25 largest patent prosecution firms in China between 2018 and 2022 prosecuted 2,308,609 applications or approximately 18% of patent filings, albeit with significant fluctuations in the volumes most of them prosecuted from year to year.

Notably, the top 3 firms – UNITALEN ATTORNEYS AT LAW, SCIHEAD IP GROUP, and CHOFN IP – were consistently prosecuting above 25,000 filings each year over the observed period.

Overall Patent Landscape in China

Given how large and domestically focused China is as a jurisdiction (an overwhelming 48 of the top 50 applicants filing in China were Chinese), it is not surprising that approximately 93% of the total volume of filings prosecuted by Chinese agents originated from domestic applicants.

Amongst the top 25 largest patent prosecution firms, only CCPIT PATENT AND TRADEMARK LAW OFFICE, CHINA PATENT AGENT (H.K.) LTD. and LIU, SHEN & ASSOCIATES – prosecuted more filings originating from foreign applicants than domestic applicants. Their respective shares of foreign filings of their total portfolios were 61%, 76% and 62% respectively.

China: Share of Domestic Filings per Firm 2018 – 2022

Focusing on the top 50 international applicants filing in China, most came from Japan, United States and S. Korea. Some of the largest filers between 2018 and 2022 included S. Korean SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO LTD, (possibly contentious) Cayman ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LTD, American QUALCOMM INC and Japanese TOYOTA MOTOR CO LTD.

Case Exchange Trends

From 2018 to 2022, patent prosecution firms in China sent more than 237,826 patent cases to their foreign associates. The major recipients were representatives from the United States, Germany and Japan, collectively receiving 63% of cases sent by Chinese patent prosecution firms.

Chinese firms obtained 287,502 patent cases from global counterparts. Most of the top international law firms sending law firms naturally mirrored the origins of the top international applicants filing in China, with the top senders coming mostly from Japan, S. Korea and Taiwan.

Foreign applicants and law firms tended to lean towards a select group of patent prosecution firms in China to represent them locally. Some of the agents representing the largest international filers in China included MING & YUE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW FIRM, BEIJING BESTIPR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW CORPORATION, NTD PATENT & TRADEMARK AGENCY LTD and CHINA SINDA INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LTD.

Country Breakdown of Top 50 Receiving Law Firms from China
Country Breakdown of Top 50 Sending Law Firms to China

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