The number of patent registrations in Korea has exceeded the 1 million mark, making it only the fourth country in the world after the U.S., Canada and Japan. Korea achieved the feat in the shortest time in the world. 

A spokesman for the Korean Intellectual Property Office on Tuesday said, “The total number of patent registrations exceeded 1 million on Dec. 3 last year, 62 years after the country’s first patent was registered for a sulphur dyeing technique in 1948.”

The U.S. crossed the 1 million mark as long ago as 1911, Canada in 1976 and Japan in 1982. It took the U.S. 75 years, Japan 97 and Canada 107.

The three have had patent registration since the 19th century, but in Korea it only started after World War II.

About 690,000, or two-thirds of the patents were registered in the last decade, with 52 percen  for information technology, the spokesman added. The applicant for the 1 millionth patent was Diabell, a cell-phone component manufacturer.