Asia-based innovators filed more than half of all international patent applications via WIPO for the first time in 2018. There was a significant growth from China, India and the Republic of Korea.

This has been reported by the WIPO. The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) passed the record-breaking quarter-million (253.000) filing mark in 2018, a 3,9% increase over 2017.

According to a press release, U.S.-based inventors filed the greatest number of PCT patent applications in 2018 (56.142), trailed closely by China (53.345), which is expected to surpass the U.S. within the next two years on current trends. Japan (49.702). Germany (19.883) and the Republic of Korea (17.014) ranked third, fourth and fifth, respectively. WIPO applications by country of origin are available here.

India (+27,2%), Finland (+14,7%), China (+9,1%) and the Republic of Korea (+8%) saw strong growth. The Netherlands (-6,6%), France (-1,2%) and the U.S. (-0,9%) saw a decrease in filings.

China-based telecoms giant Huawei Technologies (5.405 published PCT applications) was the top corporate filer in 2018, followed by Mitsubishi (2.812), Intel (2.499), Qualcomm (2.404) and ZTE (2.080). The top 10 applicant list comprises six companies from Asia, two from Europe and two from the U.S. (more information available here).


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  1. And what are the figures for entering ChI and ChII I.e. actually going to search and preliminary examination?

  2. Since the time limit for Chap I (19-21 months) has been aligned to that of Chap II (30-31 months), the figures are not any longer significant.

    For a long period of time applicants requested an IPER in order to benefit of the longer time limit for entering the national/regional phase. They often did not even bother to answer the communications of the IPEA, and only amended before entering the next phase.

    PCT Chap II was a means for. Extending the time needed to take a decision about an application.

    This was one the reason of aligning both time limits.

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