And the 1'000'000 patent for 2008 is from….

The Derwent World Patents Index (DWPI) database registered its millionth patent in 2008 – a first in the 45-year history of the index. The patent application is from ZTE Corporation, the telecommunication equipment manufacturer located in South China and covers an improved cell phone user interface.

The DWPI database captures the world’s innovation through abstracting and indexing new inventions described in patent documents from 41 patent issuing authorities globally. It now contains over 17 million inventions covering 36.9 million individual patents, making it the world’s premier patent information database.

DWPI coverage of China commenced in 1985 with re-written English language titles, abstracts and classifications. This was enhanced in 2007 with the addition of more detailed abstracts, and further in 2008 with structural indexing for polymer, pharmaceutical, agrochemical and general chemical inventions. The inclusion of Chinese, Japanese and Korean utility models resulted in an additional 210,000 inventions in 2008.

On a related note the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information (ISTIC) announced that China overtook the United States for the first time in terms of engineering-indexed theses in 2007.