In 2016, U.S.-based applicants filed 56,595 PCT applications, followed by applicants from Japan (45,239) and China (43,168), which has posted double-digit growth each year since 2002. If this current trend continues, China will overtake the U.S. within two years as the largest user of the PCT System. Germany and the Republic of Korea with 18,315 and 15,560 applications were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. China and India (1,529) are the only two middle-income countries among the top 15 origins.

In total, Asia accounted for 47.4% of total PCT applications, just short of the combined share of Europe (25.6%) and North America (25.3%).

Among the top 15 origins, China recorded extraordinary growth (+44.7%), while Italy (+9.3%), Israel (+9.1%), India (+8.3%) and the Netherlands (+8%) also saw strong growth rates. In contrast, Canada (-17.3%) – for the second consecutive year – saw a substantial decline in filings, linked to declining applications from RIM/Blackberry and Nortel.

Shenzhen -based telecoms companies – ZTE Corporation (4,123 published PCT applications) and Huawei Technologies (3,692) –  occupied the top two spots in the list of top PCT applicants, with ZTE moving up two spots to push Huawei out of the leader position. They were followed by Qualcomm Incorporated of the U.S. (2,466), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan (2,053) and LG Electronics of the Republic of Korea (1,888). The top 10 applicant list comprised seven companies from Asia and three from the U.S..

Among educational institutions, the University of California  – with 434 published PCT applications – was the largest user of the PCT System and has maintained that position since 1993. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (236) was ranked second followed by Harvard University (162), Johns Hopkins University (158) and the University of Texas System (152). While the top 10 is dominated by U.S.-based institutions, top 20 list consists of 10 U.S. and 10 Asian universities.

Digital communication (8.5%) accounted for the largest share of published PCT applications, followed by computer technology (8.2%), electrical machinery (6.9%) and medical technology (6.8%). Among the top 10 technologies, medical technology (+12.8%) optics (+12.7%) and digital communication (+10.7%) saw the fastest growth in 2016.

[source: wipo]

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