For 2009, China passed Italy to claim the ninth-highest rank for countries that receive the most patents in the United States. Patents By Country, State, and Year - All Patent Types (December 2009) Patents granted by the United States for the year 2009. 1. U.S. 95,037 patents 2. Japan 38,066 (Greater China 10,638) 3. Germany 10,353 4. South Korea 9,566 5. Taiwan 7,781 6. Canada 4,393 7. U.K. 4,011 8. France 3,805 9. China 2,270 10. Italy 1,837 ... India 720 Hong Kong 587 (Patent office counts Hong Kong as a separate entity) Singapore 493 Russian Federation 204 Brazil 148 For 2009, Greater China's 10,638 combined total patents (i.e. China's 2,270 + Taiwan's 7,781 + Hong Kong's 587) are greater than Germany's 10,353 patents. Greater China would rank third on the U.S. patent list. The patent ranks are important because they help to explain why China is the world's largest exporter and Germany is the world's second-largest exporter. Patents play an important role. ---------- [Note: These are my comments from last year on "Greater China outnumbers German patents." There are 70,000 Taiwanese companies on the Chinese Mainland. It is my guess that many Chinese exports incorporate not only Chinese patents, but also Taiwanese patents. The Taiwanese were a perennial #4 in U.S. patents received until they were passed by South Korea in 2008. While the current number of Chinese patents appears to be insufficient to support a large high-tech export base, the combination of Greater China (i.e. Chinese, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong) patents should suffice. Greater China's 10,370 patents (i.e. China's 1,874 + Taiwan's 7,779 + Hong Kong's 717) are greater than the number of German patents at 10,086. Taiwan (10/09) "Significant migration to Taiwan from the Chinese mainland began as early as A.D. 500. ..... There are a number of small political parties, including the Taiwan .... in China, and more than 70000 Taiwan companies have operations there. .... In keeping with our one China policy, the U.S. does not support Taiwan ..."