According to the WIPO report released on December 7, Asia accounted for 65% of the world’s total patent applications, North America for 20.4%, and Europe for 11.3%. Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific accounted for a total of 3.3%. 

In terms of patent applications filed abroad, Americans led with 236,000 patent applications, followed by Japan (206,800), Germany (104,700), China (84,300), and South Korea (76,800).

The U.S. had the largest number of effective patents in the world with about 15 million, but their majority is from overseas applicants. China counted 2.7 million of valid patents. Among the 2.1 million of valid patents in Japan, 80% originated from Japanese applicants.

WIPO report 2020, cited after JST China news, December 8, 2020