In 2014, the use of the PCT continued to grow, with approximately 215,000 PCT applications filed. This represents a 4.5% increase over 2013. It is important to note that this total, as well as the figures which follow, are provisional, due to the fact that not all PCT applications that were filed with national and regional Offices in 2014 have been received at the International Bureau, and the final figures will only be available later in the year.
The top 10 PCT filing countries in 2014 were the same as in 2013, with the United States of America (with 28.6% of all filings), Japan (19.7%) and China (11.9%) continuing to hold the top three places. Applicants from the member States of the European Patent Convention, when grouped together, filed 27.2% of all international applications. The total for each country in the top 10, followed by that country’s percentage share of all filings, were as follows:
1. United States of America 61,492 28.6%
2. Japan 42,459 19.7%
3. China 25,539 11.9%
4. Germany 18,008 8.4%
5. Republic of Korea 13,151 6.1%
6. France 8,319 3.9%
7. United Kingdom 5,282 2.5%
8. Netherlands 4,218 2.0%
9. Switzerland 4,115 1.9%
10. Sweden 3,925 1.8%
Among the top 10 countries, China was the only one to see double-digit growth in PCT filings in 2014, with an increase of 18.7%. The United Kingdom recorded the second fastest growth (+9%), followed by the United States of America(+7.1%). Greece was rather low in the ranking with an estimation of 133 PCT applications, recording a growth of 20% in respect to 2013.
Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (CN) was the top PCT user, with 3,442 PCT applications published in 2014, Qualcomm Incorporated (US) was second with 2,409, followed by ZTE Corporation (CN) with 2,179. The top ten applicants are listed below, with the number of PCT applications that were published in their names in 2014:
1. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd (CN) 3,442
2. Qualcomm Incorporated (US) 2,409
3. ZTE Corporation (CN) 2,179
4. Panasonic Corporation (JP) 1,682
5. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (JP) 1,593
6. Intel Corporation (US) 1,539
7. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ) (SE) 1,512
8. Microsoft Corporation (US) 1,460
9. Siemens Aktiengesellschaft (DE) 1,399
10. Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (NL) 1,391
Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd (CN) also saw the largest growth in filings, with 1,332 more applications published than in 2013 (an increase of 63.1%), Tencent Technology (Shenzhen) Company Limited (CN) saw the second largest growth with 727 more (202.5% increase), followed by Microsoft Corporation (US) with 652 more (80.7%increase).
As far as PCT filings by field of technology are concerned, computer technology, with 17,653 published PCT applications, accounted for the largest share of PCT applications with 8.4% of the total, followed by digital communication (16,165) and electronic machinery, apparatus, energy (15,220). Amongst the top 10 fields, computer technology saw the fastest growth (+19.4%), followed by medical technology (+17.1%) and digital communication (+14.5%).
You can see all the above in a nice infographic, provided by WIPO, here: PCT filings 2014