Taipei, May 3 (CNA) Japan continued to outnumber all other countries in the number of patent applications in Taiwan in the first quarter of 2012, data from the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office released Thursday.
Japan, the foreign country with the highest number of patents in Taiwan, filed 3,440 applications in the first quarter of the year, a year-on-year increase of 8.62 percent, according to the data.
Following Japan, the United States filed the second highest number of patent applications in Taiwan -- 1,464 -- during the January-March period .
However, the U.S. figure has been declining over the past five years as it has switched its focus on the Chinese market, the office said.
During the same period, foreign firms has filed a total of 6,737 applications for patents in Taiwan, an annual increase of 3.71 percent, the data showed.
In the first quarter, Taiwanese firms filed 4,859 patent applications, up 2.15 percent over a year ago, the data showed.
Hon Hai Precision, a major supplier for Apple, again ranked No. 1 in terms of patent applications (559), followed by Wistron Corp., one of Taiwan's leading contract electronics manufacturers, and Taiwanese research powerhouse Industrial Technology Research Institute (87 each), which tied as No. 2, during the Jan.-March period.
In the first quarter, the office received a total of 11,596 patent applications from local and foreign companies, a year-on-year increase of 1.17 percent, the data showed.
Meanwhile, 4,456 trademark applications were filed by foreign firms in the first quarter, a growth of 12.98 percent over the same time of last year, the office said.
Japan ranked No. 1 in trademark applications (1,122), followed by the U.S. (1,045) and China (508).
(By Huang Chiao-wen and Hanna Liu)