According to the latest World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) data, there is only one U.S. company among the top ten PCT or Patent Cooperation Treaty filers.
Huawei Technologies is by far the number one applicant, with with 4,411 published applications. It is followed by Mitsubishi Electric, Samsung Electronics, Qualcomm, Guang Dong Oppo Mobile Telecom, BOE Technology Group, LM Ericsson, Ping an Technology (Shenzhen), Robert Bosch and LG Electronics.
The top three filing nations are China, the U.S. and Japan, up 10.6%, 2.8% and 5.9% respectively over 2018.
Shift in Focus
“China’s rapid growth to become the top filer of international patent applications via WIPO underlines a long-term shift in the focus of innovation towards the East, with Asia-based applicants now accounting for more than half of all PCT applications,” said outgoing WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.
In 1999, WIPO received 276 applications from China. By 2019, that number rose to 58,990 – a 200-fold increase in only twenty years.
For a fascinating interactive graph of the evolution of PCT filings by nation from 2005 to the present, go here or click on the image below.
The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international treaty with more than 150 Contracting States. The PCT makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in a large number of countries by filing a single “international” patent application instead of filing several separate national or regional patent applications.
The granting of patents remains under the control of national or regional patent offices, like the USPTO, UKIPO and JPO.
Image source: wipo.int