smitty777 writes "China has passed the U.S. as the number-one filer of patents this year, according to a report by Thompson Reuters. With an average annual increase of 16.7%, China has filed 314,000 patents last year. This brings the total share of China in worldwide holdings up from 54% to 58%. However, according to legal expert Elliot Papageorgiou: 'One thing is volume, quality is quite another. The return, or the percentage of grants, of the patents is still not as high in China as, say, in the U.S., Japan or some places in Europe.' This was also a record year for patent filing over all, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). According to their numbers, worldwide patent applications are up 7.2%, at 1.98 million in 2010. FTA: 'WIPO Director General Francis Gurry on Tuesday attributed the rise to the "knowledge economy" and globalization led by U.S. and Chinese innovation.'"