International technology transfer is an effective way to narrow the technology gap of developing countries. As the world biggest emerging economy, the inbound and outbound technology transfer of China has attracted much academic attention. The flow of non-resident patents, i.e. patents applied by foreign institutions or individuals, represents one of the most important channels of international technology transfer. The paper analyzes the bilateral non-resident patent application flows between China and core Europe Union countries in order to investigate the relationship between non-resident patent applications and intellectual property rights. The results reveal that the non-resident patent flows between China and EU are quite un-balanced, with much higher inbound flow from EU to China and lower outbound flow from China to EU. Moreover, the non-resident patent applications are positively related to both the IPR level of the destination and the source. Some policy recommendations are drawn from these findings.
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