A recent press release by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) regarding filings under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) has revealed some interesting trends. In 2003, for the first time in 13 years the number of patent applications filed by users from Japan (15.2% of all filings, and the second highest, after the US) exceeded those from third-place Germany (12.7%).
Totalling some 110,114 filings in 2003, the number of applications filed under the PCT is seen as a reasonably reliable indicator of domestic focus on intellectual property creation and enforcement. It may also indicate relative industrial and economic strength and global perspective. Following the US (35.7% of total world filings), Japan and Germany, rounding out the rest of the top five countries were the United Kingdom (5.5%) and France (4.3%). Canada ranked tenth with 2,210 filings (1.9%).
The overall number of filings dropped from the 2002 figure of 114,048, with every country in the top five slipping, except for Japan (a 24% increase). Other countries with significantly increased filings were primarily those considered to be developing countries, including India (51.9% increase over 2002), Mexico (19.6%), Singapore (18.8%), and South Korea (10.1%).
A PCT patent application allows a user to file a single application in one country to gain patent protection in some or all of the Treaty member states. Associated costs may be spread over a longer period of time than would be the case if the applications were filed in the countries directly. PCT member states include most countries with significant industries and economies, a notable exception being non-member Taiwan.
For another report on this, see:
For the WIPO press release, visit:
Summary by: Peter Wang