Industry sector: Internet
Established in 1998, Tencent was one of the first internet companies in China to actively incorporate patents into its business model. Today, its IP department comprises over 40 dedicated personnel, well over half of whom work exclusively on patents; and in recent years the company has spent an average of 10% of its annual income on R&D. The results of this investment are close to 6,000 patent applications filed at home and overseas, the majority of which are invention patents. More broadly, intangible assets are regarded as crucial to Tencent’s future success, as its comprehensive IP strategy – variously addressing patents, trademarks, copyrights, domain names and trade secrets – bears out.