ZTE banks on patents to expand

ZTE banks on patents to expand


ZTE Corp, a leading Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone manufacturer, aims to increase its presence in international markets and establish itself as a multinational firm through boosting the number of its patents.

"We've made the development of intellectual property rights our company's core strategy, especially when expanding to overseas markets," said Guo Xiaoming, vice-president of the company, which is based in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

Guo said that if a company doesn't have a solid foundation in intellectual property rights, it will be very difficult to establish itself in overseas markets, especially in matured markets such as the United States and Europe.

"We've been putting the development of intellectual property rights on top of our company's agenda. We've also been investing heavily in research and development," he told a media briefing on Monday.

Guo said ZTE invests about 10 percent of its annual sales on research and development every year. It has injected more than 40 billion yuan ($6.42 billion) on R&D over the past five years.

According to a report from the World Intellectual Property Organization in March, ZTE filed 2,309 Patent and Cooperation Treaty applications in 2013, becoming the world's second largest patent filer.

Panasonic Corp of Japan – with 2,881 published applications — was the top applicant last year. ZTE was the top applicant in 2011 and 2012, while Panasonic headed the applicants' list in 2009 and 2010.

Rather than the quantity of patents, Guo said ZTE eyes their quality.

"The cost of filing a patent in Western countries is quite high — usually 50,000 to 80,000 yuan for each application. We only file those inventions that have the biggest potential in monetization," he said.

(Source: China Daily)

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