Got proof of that?
It seems extrmely unlikely for 2 reasons:
1) A country doesn't get 3X as innovative in 6 years.
2) China is the worst nation on earth for infringing intellectual property. If patent laws aren't enforced, why would people pay to patent things?
No I don't have proof - I am not a Patents Office. Try using Yahoo and doing a search for 'Chinese Patents' as I did and judge for yourself. But I agree, the figures looked high but it seemed a creditable source without any vested interest and, it goes without saying, that I personally haven't got a clue as to what is reasonable or not. However, even if the figures should be a fraction of what was published, it would appear to make a nonsense of the suggestion that China hasn't invented anything since the days of the Yellow Emperor.
China is a country with one of the largest populations in the world. It is not unreasonable if they have decided to beat/match the West at taking out patents by taking out patents on tooth picks and chop sticks (or whatever) and the like or anything else they fancy because patenting anything that isn't tied down seems to be very profitable for western companies regardless of the skill (or lack of it) that it took to develop the designs. As for the rate of acceleration, you need to compare it with patent levels in other countries to see if it looks reasonable or not. After all, this is China and things Change VERY fast when they set their minds to it.
Oh, patents are being enforce here, something else you might have found out with the use of a search engine - something like 40,000 claims of infringement per year are being submitted. I don't know what the outcome was though but you aren't going to waste money going to court if you have no chance of success.