BERLIN, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- International demand for German intellectual property rights is increasing, according to figures released by the German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) on Thursday.
The number of German patent applications filed from abroad rose to 21,286 in 2018, an increase of 7 percent from 2017. Compared to six years ago, 2018 saw 35 percent more foreign patent applications and 55 percent more foreign trademark applications, according to DPMA.
"The stable figures at this high level show how important the German market is for innovative companies from abroad," said DPMA President Cornelia Rudloff-Schaeffer.
The number of foreign trademark applications in Germany rose to 4,863 in 2018. The increase of almost 6 percent was mostly driven by China, which filed 1,564 applications with DPMA.
The discipline of electrical engineering, which entails electrical machines, appliances and energy, saw a considerable growth of 6.8 percent in patent and trademark applications. The DPMA mainly attributed this to a growing number of applications for software-based inventions, including the utilization of artificial intelligence (AI).
The German engineering and electronics company Robert Bosch GmbH ranked first among the most active patent applicants in Germany with 4,230 applications.
Speaking to Xinhua on Thursday, a Bosch spokesperson said "we apply for the most patents in our largest division, Mobility Solutions. In principle, Bosch is a company with a lively culture of innovation."
Bosch announced on Wednesday that it will provide 200 million euros (228 million U.S. dollars) for a fourth fund to increase investment in external startups via its Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC). RBVC currently has a stake in three major AI startups worldwide: DeepMap, Graphcore and Syntiant.
CEO Volkmar Denner described Bosch as a leading company within the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem and said that "we want to drive forward select technologies in areas of future relevance, such as artificial intelligence."
The growth in intellectual property applications in the field of AI will likely continue as the German government is planning to make 3 billion euros available by 2025 for research and development in artificial intelligence. The German government has adopted a framework paper focused on the goal of making Germany "a leading location worldwide for AI." (1 euro = 1.14 U.S. dollar)