Global innovation has become a three-horse race. Three countries—the US, Japan and China—accounted for over 60% of patent applications in 2014, according to a report released by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO)
- The U.S. was the primary country of origin for PCT filers in 2014, with 61,492 applications and 7.1% growth. Japan followed with 42,459 applications, representing a 3% decline on 2013. Applicants from China filed 25,539 applications – an 18.7% annual increase.
- Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. of China, with 3,442 published PCT applications, overtook Panasonic Corp. of Japan as the largest applicant in 2014. U.S.-based Qualcomm Inc. was the second largest applicant in 2014, with 2,409 published applications, while China’s ZTE Corp. took third place with 2,179 PCT applications.
- After China, India (1,394) is the largest user of the PCT system among BRICS countries, followed by the Russian Federation (890), Brazil (581) and South Africa (297).
- The University of California, with 413 published applications, is the top applicant among educational institutions followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (234), the University of Texas System (154) and Harvard University (147).
- Computer technology with 17,653 published applications – or 8.4% of the total – accounted for the largest share of PCT applications, followed by digital communication (7.7%) and electronic machinery (7.3%). Amongst the top 10 fields, computer technology saw the fastest growth (+19.4%), followed by medical technology (+17.1%) and digital communication (+14.5%).
- The share of pharmaceutical patenting via the PCT has continuously declined since 2007. Pharmaceutical patents represent the seventh largest field. Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. is the largest filer with 171 applications, followed by Novartis AG (141), F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG (135) and the University of California (111).Universities and public research organizations show a strong presence in this field, accounting for 26% of pharmaceutical PCT filings. This is in contrast to computer technology and digital communication where these entities accounted for 4.6% and 2.8%, respectively.