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China becomes Top PCT Filer in 2019 – Ending US Four-decade Reign

With more Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) applications originating in China than in any other country, 2019 marks the first time since the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) launched the PCT System in 1978 that the US was not the top PCT filer. “China’s rapid growth to become the top filer of international patent applications via WIPO underlines a long-term shift in the locus of innovation towards the East, with Asia-based applicants now accounting for more than half of all PCT applications”, said Francis Gurry, the Director General of WIPO.

In 2019, the top five PCT filers were:

  1. China (58,990 applications);
  2. the US (57,840 applications);
  3. Japan (52,660 applications);
  4. Germany (19,353 applications); and
  5. the Republic of Korea (19,085 applications).

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