China has been a hotspot for blockchain patents and development. As Cointelegraph previously reported, the National Intellectual Property Administration of China has awarded 2,191 blockchain patents between 2017 to 2019.
Major multinational companies have also shown immense interest in filing blockchain patents in China. The latest Global Times report suggests that 35 multinationals including Microsoft, Walmart, Mastercard, Sony and Intel, had applied for a total of 212 blockchain patents by the end of March 2020.
Of all the foreign companies with blockchain patents in China, Mastercard tops the list with 46 such patents to its name. While there is no news about the company starting any business specifically in China, these patents could be aligned to help them with their global blockchain payments initiative, which they are developing along with the blockchain software firm R3.
Nokia, Intel, and Oracle are next on the line with 13, 12, and 9 blockchain patents respectively in China.
Although these companies are filing for blockchain patents in China, all of them are yet to start a blockchain-related business within the country. This is indicative of the fact that these companies are filing numerous blockchain-patents for technological accumulation so that they may put them to use in the future.
Patent Filing Trend
While U.S. organizations are filing for numerous blockchain patents in China, Chinese companies do not seem to bother filing patents in the United States. As Cointelegraph previously reported, only 4.17% of 1.2 million Chinese patent applications in 2016 were filed overseas. Conversely, 43% of 521,802 patents filed by U.S.-based companies were filed overseas.
Earlier this year, China's National Intellectual Property Administration streamlined its patent-filing process. Revising guidelines to patent applications for new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and big data reflected the country's strategic prioritization of new tech and strengthening protections for intellectual property.