Taiwan IPO released the statistics of patent applications filed and patent grants in 2018. Among the overall applications for all three kinds of patents, TSMC held onto the top spot in the list of applications filed by local firms with 944 applications, while Qualcomm topped the list of patent applications filed by foreign entities with 1,011 applications. As to the ranking of grants of all three kinds of patents, TSMC and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL) each claimed the top honor on the list of patent grants to domestic and foreign applicants with 430 grants and 474 grants, respectively. Besides, there was a 2% increase in the number of invention patent applications filed by local corporate applicants for two straight years.
As revealed by Taiwan IPO’s statistics, the number of TSMC’s patent applications has been continuously increasing since 2015 among local applicants to reach its record high in 2018 2018 and remain on top for three consecutive years. AU Optronics Corp. jumped to the 2nd place with 586 applications, while Realtek Semiconductor Corp. broke into the top 10 for the first time with 195 applications, up 60% from the previous year. Meanwhile, HTC returned to the 9th place by filing a total of 185 applications with a 78% yearly rise, the most notable growth among the top 10. Moreover, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. dropped to the 6th spot with 246 filings at a 49% decrease, and Far East University was the only university named in the top 10 ranking with 184 filings.
Among foreign corporate applicants, Qualcomm claimed the top with 1,011 applications, which marks not only a 67% yearly growth but also the most significant growth among the top 10 non-resident applicants. Surpassed by Qualcomm, Alibaba Group fell to the 2nd place with 599 applications, down 21%. DISCO Corporation and Corning both saw their yearly rise at 37% and 18%, respectively, and got their respective entry into the top 10 ranking by filing 285 and 270 applications each. In addition, China-based OPPO slipped to the 9th spot from the 7th with 253 applications, down 22%.
The analysis of the structure of the overall patent applications filed in 2018 shows that business entities are mainly responsible for Taiwan’s innovative force and 78% of the 2018 applications were filed for invention patents. Applications for invention patents, utility model patents, and design patents all have their respectively yearly growth at 2%, 7%, and 53%.
Moreover, 25 universities were named among the top 100 patent applicants for 2018, and the numbers of applications for invention patents and design patents rose by 5% and 26%, respectively, even though that of utility model patents slowly dropped by 2%. Among the named 25 universities, Far East University championed with 184 filings mostly for utility model patents (159 applications). As for the applications for invention patents filed by these universities, National Cheng Kung University took the lead among the 25 universities with 92 filings, overtaking National Tsing Hua University and National Chiao Tung University, both with 85 applications. National Taiwan University and National Taiwan University of Science and Technology both saw their respective annual growth by 45% with 64 filings and 42 filings, respectively.
On the other hand, 6 research institutions were recognized among the top 100 patent applicants for the same year; however, these institutions saw an yearly 5% decline in the number of their applications for invention patents. ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute) stayed firmly at No. 1 position among the 6 named top applicants with 441 applications and also snatched the 5th position in the ranking of the named resident applicants. NCSIST (National Chung-Shan Institute of Science & Technology) followed ITRI to take the 2nd place by filing 112 applications.
With a view to reinforcing Taiwanese enterprises’ IPR concept and R&D ability and further to elevating industrial competitiveness and to go with the government’s efforts in promoting technologies in the sectors of financial technology, biomedicine, information and communication, and precision machinery, Taiwan IPO has been taking the initiative to contact the companies of relevant industries to offer courses and sessions regarding patent application and patent analysis and had held 33 sessions in 2018. On the other hand, in view of the fact that 98% of the enterprises in Taiwan are small and medium-sized ones which do not own R&D force and relevant resources as much as large enterprises, Taiwan IPO has also held 10 sessions specifically customized for small and medium-sized enterprises to promote IPR concept. Beginning in 2018, Taiwan IPO provides the service of reply to IPR-related questions to small and medium-sized enterprises through video conference. More and more resources will be invested for the ultimate purpose of enhancing Taiwan’s R&D and creative force. (January 2019)