Findings from the 2012 PCT Yearly Review

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recently released the 2012 edition of its PCT Yearly Review. You can download the full report here, but a few key statistics are:

  • The number of PCT filings set a new record in 2011 with 181,900 PCT applications filed. China, Japan and the U.S. accounted for 82% of the total growth.
  • The two millionth PCT application was filed in 2011. It took 26 years for one million applications to be filed, but only 7 years for the next million to be filed.
  • National phase entries increased in 2010 (last year of data pulled), with 477,500 made worldwide (7.7% growth over 2009).
  • U.S. applicants filed the most national phase entries (141,596), followed by Japan (90,000), Germany (55,234), France (26,172) and the United Kingdom (18,188).
PCT national phase entries for top 15 origins

PCT System Growth

The report also provides a look at the history of the Patent Cooperation Treaty. In the 33 years since the PCT’s inception, membership has grown from 18 states to 144 (soon to be 145). This represents 74% of the world’s countries. The geographical diversity of PCT applicants has also increased in tandem, with 128 different countries filing at least one PCT application in 2011.

Number of PCT member states

In a previous blog post, we discussed the record number of PCT applications filed in 2011 as well as the top applicants. The 2012 PCT Yearly Review also includes statistics on the top university applicants worldwide. Topping the list are the University of California (277 applications filed in 2011), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (179), University of Texas System (127), Johns Hopkins University (111) and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (103).

Trends in PCT national phase entries (PCT NPEs)

Increased focus placed on global markets and a growing PCT system has provided for a 7.7% increase in PCT NPEs in 2010, with 477,500 NPEs filed. In 2010, the majority (54%) of all non-resident applications received by patent offices were filed via the PCT (vs. the Paris Convention for direct filing). Our 2012 U.S. IP Trends Survey found this trend to be more pronounced among U.S. applicants, with 79% of respondents filing exclusively through the PCT.

Trend in PCT NPEs

On average, each PCT application was filed into 3.1 countries in 2010. This echoes findings from our survey, which found that respondents who typically filed their patent applications internationally filed into an average of 1-3 countries.

There’s a lot of great information in the full report; click here to download your copy.  You can also check out our PCT-related resources for more information on filing via the PCT.


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