knew that a polyglot was a person who spoke many languages, but wasn't
sure how it applied to patents. According to Merriam-Webster, the second
definition of 'polyglot'
is, "a book containing versions of the same text in several languages."
The multilingual person is definition number one. Scientific American
magazine (October 2013) ran an article
Polyglot Patent Boom" that discusses how the number of U.S. patents
awarded to assignees in multiple countries is - and has been for a while
- on the rise. A look at the thumbnail of the stacked chart included
in the article illustrates the phenomenon. It begins on the left in
1985 and terminates on the right at 2010, and shows U.S. patents awarded
with at least one assignee being a citizen of China. Orange, red, and
purple portions (61% of total) are purely
Chinese invented. Authors Branstetter, Li, and Veloso attribute China's
rapid rise relative to other Asian countries to being more open to foreign
companies entering the country, China's vast physical size and human
resources (workers), and it being at a
time when the Internet facilitated collaboration
[and ahem, espionage... my comment] between
design and production partners of other nations. The situation does
not apply only to China, but they are by far the largest country represented.
To read the full article, you will need a subscription since SciAm
does not allow full open access. Another option is to check out a copy
from your local Public Library.
Posted September 30, 2013