Some 253,000 patents were filed under WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2018, an increase of 3.9 percent over 2017. And Asia-based innovators filed more than half of all international patent applications via WIPO for the first time in 2018 on significant growth from China, India and the Republic of Korea.
U.S.-based inventors filed the greatest number of PCT patent applications in 2018, trailed closely by China, which is expected to surpass the U.S. within the next two years on current trends.
"Asia is now the majority filer of international patent applications via WIPO, which is an important milestone for that economically dynamic region and underscores the historical geographical shift of innovative activity from West to East," said Francis Gurry, director general of WIPO in a statement.
In 2018, U.S.-based applicants filed 56,142 PCT applications, followed by applicants from China (53,345) and Japan (49,702). Germany and the Republic of Korea ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, with 19,833 and 17,014 applications. More than half of all PCT applications filed in 2018 came from Asia (50.5 percent), with Europe (24.5 percent) and North America (23.1 percent) accounting for about a quarter each.
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