The World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") released its World Intellectual Property Indicators 2016 report on November 23, 2016. Among various intellectual property data, statistics, and trends, the WIPO report announced that the Chinese State Intellectual Property Office ("SIPO") had become the first national patent office to receive more than one million patent applications in a single year. In 2015 alone, CIPO logged 1,101,864 distinct applications for patent protection, though these applications included not only applications for "invention patents" (akin to United States ("U.S." utility patents), but also "utility models" ("petit patents") and design patents (similar to U.S. design patents). In addition, 2015 saw just over one million patent applications filed Chinese citizens. A breezy overview of the report is available in this WIPO video:
Although it remains unclear whether patents are an accurate metric of innovation, China is on the verge of establishing itself as a patent superpower.