ZTE Corporation was announced No. 1 in the World Intellectual Property Organization's latest annual list for patent applications. It also reflects the company's increased focus on research and development of next-generation technologies including 5G, network virtualization, cloudification, and the Internet of Things.
ZTE filed 4,123 applications for patents under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2016, more than any other company, according to data published by WIPO. ZTE moved into the top position after ranking No. 3 a year earlier, and the company had been placed inside the Top-3 in WIPO's annual list each year since 2010.
Huawei Technologies, with 3,692 patent applications in 2016, was ranked No. 2 by WIPO, followed by Qualcomm Inc. with 2,466, Mitsubishi Electric with 2,053 and LG Electronics with 1,888.
"ZTE's top position in the new WIPO annual patent rankings reflects our ongoing drive to lead the ICT industry in the development of next-generation technologies," said Shen Nan, Chief Intellectual Property Officer of ZTE. "As a global leader in technology innovation, ZTE is deeply committed to the promotion and protection intellectual property."
With 20 R&D centers in Asia, North America and Europe, ZTE invests more than 10% of annual revenue on R&D, employing over 30,000 research professionals in the development of next-generation technologies including 5G, IoT, NFV, SDN, Cloud Computing, Big Data and Smart City.
With more than 1,500 5G-related patent applications, ZTE was the world's first vendor to verify key technologies in the 5G millimetre wave and sub-6GHz frequencies in 2016. ZTE has successfully completed 5G single-point technology and prototype verification and has now entered the verification and R&D phase.
"China-based filers are behind much of the growth in international patent and trademark filings, making great strides in internationalizing their businesses as the country continues its journey from 'Made in China' to 'Created in China'," said Francis Gurry, Director General of WIPO.
ZTE's proprietary Pre5G solutions enable carriers to fast-track the application of 5G technologies on existing 4G LTE infrastructure, and are deployed in more than 40 networks in 30 countries by carriers including SoftBank, China Mobile and Telefonica