RE: the article “China tops in 2011 patent applications.”
The numbers are the result of foreign companies filing patents already granted in their home country and/or other countries. The article which has appeared in similar form elsewhere would give the impression that the Chinese are brimming over with patentable ideas, which is definitely not the case.
To attempt to clarify the above, just because an individual or company was granted a patent in the U.S.A., it has no protection from being copied in China and sold throughout the world excluding the U.S.A. Supposedly, one is protected from a Chinese company selling into the U.S. market.