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China-based inventors lead on global GenAI patents: UN reprt

Innovation 2024-07-04, 10:40am


AI representational image. Public domain.

04 July 2024 - China-based inventors are filing the highest number of generative artificial intelligence patents, a new report from the UN World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) shows.

According to the agency’s Patent Landscape Report, between 2014-2023, more than 38,000 GenAI patents came out of China, six times more than those filed by inventors in the United States, which came in second place.

GenAI, or Generative AI, allows users to create content including text, images, music or software code, powering a range of industrial and consumer products, including chatbots such as ChatGPT, Google Gemini or Baidu’s ERNIE.

A game changer

“GenAI has emerged as a game-changing technology with the potential to transform the way we work, live and play,” said Daren Tang, WIPO Director General.

Since the 2017 introduction of the deep neural network architecture that is now synonymous with GenAI, the number of GenAI patents has increased by more than 800 percent through 2023, according to the WIPO Report.  

The sharp rise in patenting activity reflects the recent technological advances and the potential within GenAI.

For our common benefit

The WIPO head added that by analysing patenting trends and data, the agency hoped to give everyone a better understanding of where this fast-evolving technology is being developed, and where it is headed.

“This can help policymakers shape the development of GenAI for our common benefit and to ensure that we continue to put the human being at the centre of our innovation and creative ecosystems,” he said.  

Report’s key findings

According to the report, GenAI patents currently represent 6 per cent of all AI patents globally.

The top ten applicants include Tencent (2,074 inventions), Ping An Insurance (1,564), Baidu (1,234), Chinese Academy of Sciences (607), IBM (601), Alibaba Group (571), Samsung Electronics (468), Alphabet (443), ByteDance (418), and Microsoft (377).

In terms of location, China (38,210 inventions) led the field, far outpacing US (6,276 inventions), Republic of Korea (4,155), Japan (3,409) and India (1,350).

Image and video data dominated GenAI patents (17,996 inventions), followed by text (13,494) and speech or music (13,480).  

GenAI patents using molecule, gene and protein-based data grew rapidly (1,494 inventions since 2014) with 78 per cent average annual growth over the past five years. – UN News