For the first time ever Asia filed more than 50% of global patents last year, according to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

While America led the way with 56,142 PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications filed; strong activity from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea saw Asia come out as the most impactful region with 50.5%.

“Asia is now the majority filer of international patent applications via WIPO, which is an important milestone for that economically dynamic region and underscores the historical geographical shift of innovative activity from West to East,” said WIPO Director General Francis Gurry. “Intellectual property is a critical competitive element in the modern global economy, with everyone ultimately benefiting from this race to create and innovate that results in new products that transform our world and the way people live everywhere.”