According to data recently released by the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), utility model grants were down 21.7% to 600,206 grants in the first quarter of 2023 versus a year ago. Invention patent grants were up slightly at 1.4% to 162,902 grants. Design patent grants were up almost 7% to 183,325 grants. Per Toby Mak of Tee & Howe, “the significant drop in utility model grant number may be a direct result of CNIPA cracking down on abnormal patent applications.” For example, CNIPA announced that it found 815,000 abnormal patent applications in 2021, of which over 90% had been withdrawn as of the time of the announcement. CNIPA has also been fining patent agencies for filing abnormal patent applications including a record 2.49 Million RMB fine in June 2022.
Trademark grants have also decreased year-on-year by 52.7% to 1,022,958 trademarks. This may be due a similar CNIPA crackdown on malicious trademarks. For example, in an April 2022 press conference, CNIPA mentioned it had cracked down on 482,000 malicious trademarks and a further 372,000 malicious trademarks in an April 2023 press conference.
The full dataset is available here: 2023Q1 (Chinese only).