World Intellectual Property Organization

The International Patent System in 2007

PCT Yearly Review: Developments and Performance

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PREFACE

The Patent Cooperation Treaty

Since entering into force in 1978, the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) offers inventors and industry an advantageous route for obtaining patent protection internationally. By filing one "international" patent application under the PCT, protection of an invention can be sought simultaneously in each of a large number of countries. Both applicants and patent Offices of the 138 PCT Member States benefit from the uniform formality requirements, the international search and preliminary examination reports and from the centralized international publication provided by the PCT system. The national patent granting procedure and the related expenses are postponed, in the majority of cases, by up to 30 months from priority date (or even longer in the case of some Offices) as compared with the traditional patent system. At the end of this period, the applicant should have received important value-added information concerning the likelihood of obtaining patent protection.

The graph below shows an overview of the main processing stages of patent applications within the international phase of the PCT system and their related timelines.

Overview of the PCT System

  • An applicant using the PCT system must file a PCT international application at a receiving Office and choose an International Searching Authority that will provide him with a report and a written opinion on the patentability of his invention. The International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization then publishes the application and communicates all necessary documents to patent Offices party to the PCT system. The applicant can choose to file a demand for a second evaluation of the patentability of his invention with an International Preliminary Examining Authority. The applicant has, in general, 30 months from the priority date to enter the PCT national phase in countries or regions in which he seeks protection.

PCT filing

A patent applicant who wishes to protect his invention in more than one country using the PCT system should file an international application under the PCT with the competent receiving Office. Generally, applicants first file a patent application with their patent Office and within 12 months from priority date, file their international application under the PCT.

International Bureau

The receiving Office transmits a copy of the PCT international application to the International Bureau (IB) of WIPO. The IB is responsible for:

  • receiving and storing all application documents;
  • performing a second formalities examination;
  • publishing the application and related documents on PATENTSCOPE® search service;
  • translating the title and abstract of the PCT international application and certain associated documents into English and/or French, where necessary;
  • communicating documents to Offices and third parties;
  • providing legal advice on request to users; and
  • providing PCT-related assistance to PCT member States.

The applicant must pay an international filing fee of approximately 1,400 Swiss Francs (CHF) and where the PCT international application contains more than 30 pages, an additional fee per sheet of approximately 15 CHF (a fixed rate applies in some cases). Up to approximately 300 CHF in fee reductions are available to applicants who file electronically. In addition, applicants from low-income countries are entitled, under specified conditions, to a 75% reduction of the international filing fee and handling fee.

International Search

The PCT international search is carried out by a patent Office appointed to act as an International Searching Authority (ISA) within the PCT minimum documentation prescribed in the Treaty. The International Search Report (ISR) contains a list of the documents with indications of relevance to the patentability, namely novelty and inventive step (non-obviousness). In addition, the ISA establishes a written opinion on patentability, which gives the applicant a detailed analysis of the invention.

The ISR and the written opinion are communicated by the ISA to the applicant normally by the fourth or fifth month after the PCT international application has been filed. Applicants must pay a search fee which varies from approximately 244 to 2,274 US dollars1 (USD) according to the ISA chosen.

International Preliminary Examination

The international preliminary examination is an optional procedure where a second evaluation of the patentability of the invention can be sought from the International Preliminary Authority (IPEA).

The preliminary examination fees vary from approximately 200 to 2,420 USD depending on the IPEA chosen. A handling fee of approximately 171 USD also applies.

PCT National Phase

An applicant who has decided to proceed further with his PCT international application must, before the end of the 30th month from the priority date (or even longer in the case of some Offices), fulfill the requirements for entry into the PCT national phase at the patent Offices of or acting on behalf of States in which he seeks protection. The national or regional patent Offices concerned then begin the granting procedure under the national laws. In addition to paying the official fees, the applicant usually has to appoint local agents and have the application translated.

In addition to important value-added information concerning the likelihood of obtaining patent protection, a PCT applicant saves on time and costs, i.e. the work performed during the international processing is generally not repeated at each Office and legal and translation costs are postponed.

For further information, please refer to the WIPO publication: Protecting Your Inventions Abroad2

Statistical Sources

The statistics in this annual review are based on two sources of data. For the international phase of the PCT System, data originate from the WIPO statistical database. Provisional estimates have been made due to the fact that WIPO continues to receive PCT international applications filed at receiving Offices in 2007 after the publication of this review.

For the national phase of the PCT System, the statistics are based on data supplied to WIPO by national and regional patent Offices, often 6 months or more after the end of the year concerned, meaning that the latest available year to date is 2006. Data may be missing for some Offices or incomplete for some countries of origin. No estimates are made for the data concerning national phase.

The figures shown in this review are thus subject to change.3

Readers are welcome to use the information provided in this review, but are requested to cite WIPO as the source. Tables and graphs can be downloaded in image format at http://www.wipo.int/ipstats/en/statistics/pct/.

 

Highlights

In 2007, the international patent system saw several notable developments.

  • Increase in PCT Filings - In 2007, 158,400 PCT international applications were filed4, representing a 5.9% rate of growth over the previous year. For the fourth year running, the most notable growth rates came from countries in North East Asia which accounted for over a quarter (25.4%) of all PCT international applications.
     
  • North East Asian Countries Consolidate Positions - The Republic of Korea overtook France as the 4th biggest country of origin of PCT filings, with an 18.9% growth in filings compared to 2006, while China dislodged the Netherlands from its position as 7th biggest country of origin, with a 38.5% growth in filings. Maintaining their positions among the top 10 countries of origin were United States of America (1st), Japan (2nd), Germany (3rd), France (5th), United Kingdom (6th), the Netherlands (8th), Switzerland (9th) and Sweden (10th).
     
  • Changes in Top Applicants List - Matsushita of Japan moved into 1st place (2,100 applications published in 2007), overtaking the Dutch multinational Philips Electronics N.V. (2,041 applications published in 2007). Siemens (Germany) (1,644) retained 3rd place. Huawei Technologies of China moved up 9 places to become the 4th largest applicant with 1,365 applications published in 2007. These were followed by Bosch (Germany) (1,146), Toyota (Japan) (997), Qualcomm (USA) (974), Microsoft (USA) (845), which jumped 38 places to 8th place, Motorola (USA) (824) and Nokia (Finland) (822). Among the 20 top filing companies, six were from the USA, six from Japan and three from Germany.
     
  • Fields of Technology - The largest proportion of PCT international applications published in 2007 related to the telecommunications (10.5%), information technology (10.1%) and pharmaceuticals (9.3%) sectors. The fastest growing technology areas are nuclear engineering (+24.5%) and telecommunications (+15.5%), however, in the case of nuclear engineering, the total numbers are still relatively low compared to those of other fields of technology.
     
  • Full Text Search on PATENTSCOPE® search service - Since 2007, PATENTSCOPE® search service enables users to make full text search within the entire collection of PCT international applications published5 since the beginning of the PCT system in 1978, which represents over 1.3 million PCT international applications.
     
  • Utility Model Statistics - WIPO now publishes statistics on utility models filed, granted and in force - including PCT national phase entries - by country of origin and by patent Office.

 

FILINGS OF PCT APPLICATIONS

2.1 PCT International Application Filing Trends

The graph below shows the number of PCT international applications filed since their inception in 1978. PCT international application filings are patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

  • In 2007, 158,4006 PCT international applications were filed.
  • Since 1978, approximately 1.49 million PCT international applications have been filed.

The graph below shows the annual growth rate of PCT international applications filed since 1980.

  • In 2007, the growth rate over the previous year’s level was 5.9%.

2.2 PCT National Phase Entry Trends

The graph below shows the number of PCT national phase entries (including regional phase entries) since 1995. The PCT national phase statistics illustrate the number of PCT international applications where applicants actually seek protection for their inventions in other countries.

  • In 2006, about 376,000 PCT international applications entered the national phase.

The graph below shows the annual growth rate of PCT national phase entries since 1996.

  • In 2006, the number of PCT national phase entries increased by 9.5% over 2005.

 

ANALYSIS OF PCT APPLICATIONS

3.1 Top 15 Countries of Origin

The table below shows the top 15 countries where applicants filed most PCT international applications in 2007. See the statistical table in the annex for a complete list of countries. The country of origin is taken to be the country of residence of the first-named applicant in the PCT international application.

  • The Republic of Korea (4th) and China (7th) both gained one place over the previous year, with a respective growth of 18.9% and 38.5%.
  • Together, the European Patent Convention Member States account for 52,931 PCT international applications, which is an increase of 5.7% over 2006.

3.2 PCT and Developing Countries

The table below shows the number of PCT international applications filed by applicants from a selection of developing countries.

  • As reflected in the statistical table in the annex, the number of PCT international applications filed by applicants from developing countries and least developed countries is low compared to the number of PCT national phase entries at their patent Offices.

3.3 Top 20 PCT Applicants

The table below shows the top 20 PCT applicants based on the number of PCT international applications published in 2007.

  • Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. of Japan moved into 1st place, overtaking the Dutch multinational Philips Electronics N.V., whereas the Chinese multinational Huawei Technologies gained 9 places up to 4th position. 
  • The 3 main changes in ranking originate from the US-based multinational Microsoft Co. (+38), the Japanese NEC Co. (+12) and the US IBM Co. (+10).
  • In 2007, 143,000 applicants and 369,000 applicants/inventors are named in published PCT international applications.

3.4 Filings by Medium of Filing

The graph and table below show the changing distribution of filings on paper, on paper together with a diskette or other physical medium (CD-R, DVD-R) prepared electronically using the PCT-EASY functionality, and on fully electronic medium since 2003. The fully electronic filings comprise XML and PDF filings as well as web-based electronic filings (EFS-Web) at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • During 2007, the majority of PCT international application filings (52.5%) were made using a fully electronic medium. If PCT EASY, the combined paper and electronic filing media, is added to this sum, the share of filings by electronic means rises to 67.2%.
  • In 2007 the patent Office of China (from 1 May) announced that it accepts fully electronic filings thereby bringing the total number of offices allowing fully electronic filings to 20.
  • The increase of 69.7% in fully electronic filings over the previous year’s total can be primarily accounted for by Chinese and US electronic filings, as the overall numbers of filings at these Offices represent respectively 3.4% and 33.4% of the total PCT international applications filed in 2007.

3.5 Filings by Language of Filing

The table below shows the number of PCT international applications according to their language of filing. A PCT international application may be filed in any language accepted by the relevant receiving Office.

  • Compared to 2006, the top five languages of filing changed with the move of Chinese into 5th place (+1 place) overtaking Korean (-1 place).

3.6 Publications by Language of Publication

The table below shows the number of PCT international applications according to their language of publication. PCT international applications must be published in one of the official publication languages (currently Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish).

  • Chinese as a publication language has increased by 60% as compared to 2006, followed by Russian (+13.8%) and English (+8.2%).

3.7 Publications by Technical Field

The table below shows the technical fields of PCT international applications published and the annual growth in 2007. In this table, PCT international applications are classified according to 30 classifications7 based on the International Patent Classification (IPC) system. As a PCT international application can be assigned multiple IPC symbols that correspond to more than one technical field, the total count by technical field is greater than the total number of PCT international applications published.

  • The technical fields with the greatest number of PCT international applications published in 2007 were in the field of telecommunications, information technology and pharmaceuticals.
  • The fastest growing technical fields in 2007 were nuclear engineering (+24.5%) and telecommunications (+15.5%); however, in the case of nuclear engineering, the total numbers are still relatively low compared to those of other fields of technology.

3.8 PCT National Phase Entries

The national phase follows the international phase of the PCT procedure and consists of the entry and processing of the PCT international application in the individual countries or regions in which the applicant seeks protection for his invention. The patent Offices where the applicant seeks protection are called designated Offices or (when the applicant has filed a demand for preliminary examination) elected Offices.8

3.8.1 PCT National Phase Entries by Country of Origin

The table below shows the number of PCT national phase entries according to the country of origin of the first named applicant in the PCT international application.

  • The highest growth rates in 2006 compared with the previous year’s total are attributed to applicants originating from the Republic of Korea (+29.4%), followed by those from China (+25.4%) and Spain (+22.7%).

3.8.2 PCT National Phase Entries by Designated/Elected Office

The data in the table below shows the number of PCT national phase entries before designated and elected Offices.

  • The patent Offices, acting as designated or elected Offices, with the highest growth compared to 2005 are those of Brazil (32%), Germany (+22%) and China (+20%).
  • Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland became member States of the European Patent Convention (EPC) in 2002, 2003 and 2004 respectively. A PCT applicant seeking protection in any of the States member to the EPC can generally choose between entering the national phase at a national Office or the regional phase at the European Patent Office (EPO). As a result, the number of PCT national phase entries at some European national Offices is lower than would otherwise be expected.
  • It should be noted that the PCT national phase route is closed for France, Italy, the Netherlands and several other EPC member States. A PCT applicant seeking protection in those countries must therefore enter the PCT regional phase at the EPO.

 

PERFORMANCE OF THE INTERNATIONAL PATENT SYSTEM

4.1 Receiving Offices

PCT International applications are filed first with a receiving Office (RO), which may be a national or regional Office or the International Bureau. In 2007, 110 Offices were acting as ROs.

4.1.1 Top 15 Receiving Offices

The table below shows the Top 15 ROs according to the number of PCT international applications filed. The statistical table in the annex shows the number of PCT international applications filed in 2007 for each of the 110 ROs.

  • PCT international applications filed at the top three ROs account for two-thirds of the total filings in 2007.
  • The ROs with the fastest growing numbers of PCT international applications filed in 2007 are the ROs of China (+42.6%), the Republic of Korea (+20.6%) and the European Patent Office (+12.6%).

4.1.2 Transmittal of International Applications to the International Bureau as Receiving Office

Where a PCT international application is filed with a receiving Office that cannot accept this application due to the nationality or the country of residence of the applicant, the language of filing or another reason, this application is forwarded to and considered as having been received by the International Bureau acting as the RO9. In 2007, 1,131 PCT international applications filed were transmitted to the International Bureau as RO, which represents 0.7% of all PCT international applications filed that year.

4.2 International Bureau

The International Bureau (IB) is responsible for the administration of the international phase of the PCT System.

4.2.1 PCT Operations Workload and Personnel

In addition to its task as RO for applications from all PCT Contracting States, WIPO, through its PCT Operations Division, manages certain processing tasks with respect to all PCT international applications filed with all ROs worldwide. Among others, these processing tasks consist of the following: formality examination, translation of abstracts and titles and publication of PCT international applications.

  • Over the past five years, the number of PCT international applications received by the IB increased by 43% while the number of personnel processing PCT international applications decreased by 22%.
  • The figure for PCT international applications received at the IB differs from that of applications published due to the fact that PCT international applications are usually published six months after their receipt by the IB.

4.2.2 Publication and Republication Timeliness

The PCT international application and related documents are published after the expiration of 18 months from the priority date unless the applicant requests early publication of the PCT international application or unless the application is withdrawn or considered withdrawn. At the time of publication, the International Bureau proceeds to the publication of the PCT international application even in the absence of the International Search Report (ISR) and republishes part of the PCT international application together with the ISR after the latter arrives.

Publication

The graph below shows the timeliness of publication by the International Bureau of PCT international applications after the expiration of 18 months from the priority date.

  • In 2007, 88% of PCT international applications were published within two weeks following the expiration of 18 months from the priority date, 95% were published within three weeks and 96% within four weeks.

Republication

The graph below shows the timeliness of republication by the International Bureau of PCT international applications with ISRs in the cases where the ISR was missing upon publication.

  • In 2007, 44% of republications were published within two months of receipt of the ISR by the International Bureau, 80% within three months and 93% within four months.

4.2.3 Translation and Terminology

The main objective underlying the International Bureau's efforts in the area of translation is to enhance the patent system's disclosure function by making the technological information embodied in PCT international applications accessible in languages other than those in which the original documents were filed. In order to meet this policy objective, the International Bureau translates and publishes the abstracts, titles and text matter in the drawings of PCT international applications into English and French, and ISR and IPRP II into English. In 2007, the International Bureau produced approximately 206,000 abstract translations, 45,000 IPRP II and 2,000 ISR translations.

In view of the continuing growth trend in filings from North East Asian countries, the International Bureau has attached great importance to enhancing the necessary human and technical resources that will ensure access to information in languages from this region.

The International Bureau has relied heavily on outsourcing as a means of absorbing increasing translation commitments, which are being met by combining outsourcing activities with an appropriate level of translations produced internally at the International Bureau. A series of control and feedback measures to ensure the quality of externally produced translations were implemented in 2007 as new and more outsourcing agencies were engaged in the second half of that year. These quality management measures should have a decisive impact on other language-related products and services that the International Bureau is in the process of developing and making available to the patent system and the general public.

The graph below shows the distribution of translations done directly by the International Bureau or outsourced in 2007.

The International Bureau has placed more emphasis on the introduction of information technology in the translation process and has reoriented its translation activities with a view to creating a multilingual search facility for integration into PATENTSCOPE® search service. There has been a renewed emphasis on terminology with the aim of creating a multilingual terminology database in all PCT publication languages, which will be enriched with the inclusion of Korean and Portuguese in 2009. The terminology database already containing thousands of terms is intended to be the backbone of the cross-language information retrieval system and machine translation service provided in PATENTSCOPE® search service.

4.3 International Search

International Searching Authorities (ISAs) are appointed by the PCT Assembly to carry out international searches. In 2007, 12 national Offices or intergovernmental organizations were acting as International Searching Authorities. These Offices produce International Search Reports (ISRs) and the written opinions of the ISA. The ISR contains citations of documents considered to be relevant to the claimed invention (i.e. prior art), the classification of the subject matter of the invention and an indication of the fields searched as well as which electronic databases have been consulted. The ISR and the written opinion are communicated by the ISAs to applicants normally by the fourth or fifth month after the PCT international application has been filed.

4.3.1 Distribution by International Searching Authorities

The chart below shows the number of PCT international applications filed according to their selected ISAs.

  • The patent Offices acting as ISAs that experienced the largest growth rates compared to 2006 were the Offices of the Republic of Korea (+87.5%), China (+70.6%) and Spain (+37.7%).
  • Since 2006, the Korean Intellectual Property Office has been acting as an International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority for PCT international applications filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office acting as receiving Office.

4.3.2 Timeliness

The graph below shows the transmittal timeliness of ISRs to the International Bureau.

  • In 2007, 51% of ISRs were received by the International Bureau before 16 months from the priority date and 18% after 20 months from the priority date.

4.4 International Preliminary Examination

International Preliminary Examining Authorities (IPEAs) are appointed by the PCT Assembly to carry out the international preliminary examination procedure. In 2007, 12 national Offices or intergovernmental organizations were acting as IPEAs. Their task is to establish the International Preliminary Examination Report (IPER) which is a preliminary, non-binding opinion, carried out at the request of the applicant, stating if the claimed invention appears to be novel, to involve an inventive step (to be non-obvious) and to be industrially applicable. As of 1 January 2004, this report is also known as the "international preliminary report on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT)".

4.4.1 Distribution by International Preliminary Examining Authorities

The graph below shows the number of demands for International Preliminary Examination since 2003. The decrease is due to a modification of the time limit for entry into the PCT national phase, in force since April 2002, and to the introduction in 2004 of the written opinion of the International Searching Authority that is now provided with the International Search Report for all PCT international applications.

The table below shows the number of demands for International Preliminary Examination at each Examining Authority.

4.4.2 Timeliness

The data in the graph below shows the transmittal timeliness of IPERs to the International Bureau.

  • In 2007, 63% of IPERs were received by the International Bureau before 28 months from the priority date and 18% after 32 months from the priority date.

 

ELECTRONIC ENVIRONMENT AND THE PCT

5.1 Electronic Filing

In 2007, 52.5% of all PCT international applications were filed fully electronically and one new Office, namely the Chinese patent Office, announced its acceptance of fully electronic filings bringing the total to 20 Offices (see paragraph 3.4). Together with the paper and electronic filing media, i.e. PCT EASY, 67.2% of PCT international applications were filed electronically in 2007.

Increased electronic filings and the receipt by the International Bureau of larger numbers of PCT documents in electronic format have undoubtedly contributed to the International Bureau’s ability to process more work with less staff (see paragraph 4.2.1). Apart from this general observation, electronic filings also impact other aspects of the International Bureau’s work as illustrated by the graphs below.

As shown in the graph below, most data input errors committed in 2007 by the International Bureau concern purely paper filings, whereas such errors are the least prevalent for XML filings.

However, as shown in the graph below, the formality examination of XML filings by the International Bureau, on average, takes more time than that of the other filing formats, including paper. This is explained by the fact that the International Bureau’s procedures and systems have been designed to handle various document formats and, as yet, have not been optimized for XML. These procedures and systems as well as the medium of filing have, however, no negative impact on the timeliness to publish PCT international applications.

5.2 Electronic Exchange of Data between the International Bureau and Offices

Since 2007, all documents and data transmitted to the International Bureau by the USPTO are sent via an electronic means and processed electronically. This development has brought the percentage of documents received in electronic form to 80% and has permitted the International Bureau to increase internal efficiency by eliminating the need to scan a considerable volume of paper documents.

5.3 Electronic Processing of PCT International Applications within the International Bureau

In 2007, the International Bureau capitalized further on fully electronic processing of PCT international applications:

  • by extending the electronic translation workflow to external translation partners, and;
  • by starting to lay the technical groundwork to extend electronic communication of PCT notifications sent to applicants and agents.

 

DISSEMINATION OF PCT AND PATENT INFORMATION

6.1 PATENTSCOPE® Search Service

The PATENTSCOPE® search service provides access to the technology contained in over 1.3 million published PCT international applications since 1978.

  • The Internet traffic has nearly doubled between January and December 2007.

In 2007, a number of enhancements have been made to PATENTSCOPE® search service in order to add content, increase the functionality of the service and make it more user friendly. The main changes are listed below:

Full text search for data back to 1978

Since March 26, 2007, the PATENTSCOPE® search service enables users to search full text data from 1978 to the present day for the Latin character languages (English, French, German and Spanish). Prior to that date, it was possible to search the full text of claims and descriptions back to July 1998 only. The full text data includes all published text of PCT international applications (including bibliographic data, claims and detailed descriptions) that were filed in English, French, Spanish or German. This 20-year extension of availability of claims and descriptions means users get much reliable results than searching front page bibliographic data only.

Searchable PCT national phase data

In May 2007, it became possible to carry out a search based on PCT national phase entry information for over 30 countries (the latest data added being that of the EPO and the Czech Republic). The search can be done by national phase country code, application number, entry date and/or entry type.

Availability of applicant's informal comments on written opinion of the International Searching Authority

Applicant's informal comments on the written opinion of the International Searching Authority are now available on PATENTSCOPE® search service for all PCT international applications filed on or after January 2004. It should be noted that these documents are only available after 30 months from the first priority date.

New presentation of PCT documents

The presentation of PCT documents has been enhanced such that the official publication of PCT international applications is easier to find and identify. These changes are also aimed at providing a better navigation to the different renditions of documents (PDF, HTML, ZIP, etc).

Changes in the publication of sequence listings

All sequence listings are now treated in the same manner regardless of their medium of filing. They are published as separate documents under the Documents tab in PATENTSCOPE® search service and on the dedicated sequence listings page where they can be downloaded directly10. This change resulted in improving the reliability, consistency and completeness of the publication of sequence listings.

Technology Focus: A new feature of PATENTSCOPE® search service

This feature linked to PATENTSCOPE® search service provides, through technology reports as well as pre-defined searches of the latest published PCT international applications, a quick visualization of developments in selected technologies. The technologies have been selected on the basis of public interest or relevance to prominent areas of public policy (e.g. energy, textiles and traditional medicines).

The search terms are primarily based on the international patent documents according to their technological subject. When searching within technologies, users are able to refine their search by entering relevant keywords.

Expanded PATENTSCOPE®glossary

Since 28 March 2007, the PATENTSCOPE® glossary has been extended to include a large number of additional terms. The glossary is intended to assist users with terminology related to the PATENTSCOPE® search service.

6.2 New Internet Resources for PCT Users

Since January 2007, the following new resources were made available to PCT users:

  • Short films providing practical tips to applicants on how to adapt to changes in PCT Regulations that entered into force on 1 April 2007. These films are available in eight languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Spanish.
  • Editable versions of the PCT request and demand forms in force as of April 1, 2007 in English, French, German, Russian and Spanish and for Arabic, in simple printable PDF format.
  • Seminar materials in seven languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.

6.3 Aggregate Patent Statistics

In 2007, a number of enhancements have been made to the patent statistics compiled by WIPO:

  • In the 2007 edition of the WIPO Patent Report11, which provides a range of statistics on PCT and direct patent activity for a broad range of countries, new sections have been added to show activity by fields of technology, and improvements have been made to statistics on patent processing and patent life cycles. WIPO has also improved the quality of statistics in the WIPO Statistics Database, in particular, to provide more accurate historical statistics.
  • Additional aggregate statistics on utility models have been published on WIPO’s Industrial Property Statistics web pages12. Annual statistics on utility models filed, granted and in force broken down by residency or route of filing (PCT or direct) are now available up to year 2006.

 

DEVELOPMENTS RELATED TO THE PCT LEGAL FRAMEWORK

7.1 Amendments entering into force and other developments in 2007

7.1.1 Amendments to PCT Regulations

In October 2005 and 2006, the PCT Assembly approved a number of amendments to the PCT Regulations, which entered into force on 1 April 2007, concerning the following issues:

  • Missing elements and parts of the PCT international application;
  • Rectification of obvious mistakes;
  • Addition of patent documents from the Republic of Korea to the PCT minimum documentation;
  • Minimum requirements for International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities relating to the International Authorities’ quality management systems and internal review arrangements;
  • Changes to physical requirements of the PCT international application to assist optical character recognition; and
  • Clarification of language-related requirements of the PCT international application.

7.1.2 Other Developments

In October 2007, the PCT Assembly:

  • Appointed the Brazilian National Institute of Industrial Property and the Indian Patent Office as International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities. The appointments will take effect from the entry into force of the necessary agreement between the Offices and the International Bureau. These two Offices will become the 14th and 15th International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities;
  • Reappointed all of the existing 13 Authorities for a further period of 10 years;13
  • Decided that the work of both the Committee on Reform of the PCT and the Working Group on Reform of the PCT had been completed and that the mandate of both bodies had come to an end. It approved a proposal to convene, should the need arise to consider a matter which required submission to the PCT Assembly, a new Working Group to do preparatory work rather than submitting the matter straight to the Assembly.

7.2 Amendments to PCT Regulations to enter into force in 2008

In October 2006, the PCT assembly appointed the Nordic Patent Institute (code: XN) as an International Searching Authority (ISA) and an International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) under the PCT:

  • The Institute has notified WIPO that it will start functioning as an ISA and an IPEA with effect from 1 January 2008 for PCT international applications filed with the Danish Patent and Trademark Office, the Icelandic Patent Office or the Norwegian Patent Office as receiving Offices. The Institute will also be competent for any PCT international application filed with the International Bureau by nationals or residents of Denmark, Iceland or Norway. The institute will be the 13th Authority under the PCT.

In October 2007, the PCT Assembly approved a number of amendments to the PCT Regulations, which will enter into force on 1 July 2008, concerning the following issues:

  • Use of the results of earlier searches by an Office other than the Office acting as ISA to assist the international search;
  • Allowing extension of the time period for paying fees relating to restoration of the right of priority by the receiving Office; and

PCT international applications considered withdrawn (clarification that international publication can only be reliably prevented by way of an express withdrawal received by the International Bureau prior to completion of technical preparations for international publication).

7.3 Amendments to PCT Regulations to enter into force in 2009

The following amendments will enter into force on 1 January 2009:

  • The introduction of a new system of supplementary international searches, which will give applicants the option to request, in addition to the "main" international search, one or more supplementary searches to be carried out by International Authorities, other than the ISA that carries out the main international search. The system is intended to allow a more complete overview of the prior art to be achieved in the international phase, in particular, including documents in languages which may not be searched effectively by the Authority conducting the main search. ISAs are free to decide whether to provide a supplementary search service and, if so, under what conditions. Note that supplementary international searches will not be available in practice until such time as at least one ISA is prepared to offer that service; and
  • The inclusion of two more languages, Korean and Portuguese, as "languages of publication" under PCT Rule 48.3. The amendments will apply to international applications whose international filing date is on or after January 1, 2009.

7.4 Meetings other than the PCT Assembly held in 2007

Meeting of International Authorities under the PCT

The meeting of International Authorities under the PCT was held in Geneva from 5 to 7 February 2007. The meeting discussed the following issues14:

  • A new draft model agreement that will form the basis of individual agreements between International Authorities and the International Bureau;
  • Proposed modifications to the PCT International Search and Preliminary Examination Guidelines;
  • Reports on quality management systems that had been submitted by all International Authorities;
  • The proposal to permit applicants to request that the International Search Report be based on an earlier national search;
  • The proposal to establish a system of supplementary searches to be carried out by participating International Searching Authorities in addition to the main international search;
  • The standard of drawings required for international search and preliminary examination; and
  • The restart of the review of PCT minimum documentation.

Working Group on the Digital Access Service for Priority Documents

The first session of the ad hoc Working Group on the Digital Access Service for Priority Documents was held in Geneva from 7 to 9 February 2007. The Working Group agreed on principles and discussed possible procedures, based on which the International Bureau will set up a system allowing Paris Convention requirements to be fulfilled by making priority documents available in a digital library instead of requiring the applicant to provide certified copies to each Office of second filing which requires them.

Working Group on Reform of the PCT

The ninth session of the Working Group on Reform of the PCT was held in Geneva from 23 to 26 April 2007. The Working Group approved proposed amendments to the Regulations with a view to their submission to the PCT Assembly for consideration at its next session.

7.5 PCT Training

In 2007, the PCT Legal Division organized/coordinated and/or participated in 95 promotional activities about the use and advantages of the PCT system, promotion and access to it. The above activities were carried out in the following languages: English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Korean, Russian and Spanish.

The promotional activities were held in the following 35 countries: Belarus, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, France, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Finland, Gabon, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Ukraine, and United States of America.

 

8. STATISTICAL TABLE

The table below shows the number of PCT international applications filed in 2007 and the number of PCT national phase entries in 2006 by Office and by country of origin. For PCT international applications filed, provisional estimates have been made for the top 15 countries of origin and receiving Offices (see paragraphs 3.1 and 4.1.1). The figures shown in this table are thus subject to change.15

A PCT applicant seeking protection in any of the States member to the European Patent Convention (EPC)16 can generally choose between entering the national phase at a national Office or the regional phase at the European Patent Office (EPO). This explains why the number of PCT national phase entries at some European national Offices is lower than would otherwise be expected. It should be noted that the PCT national phase route is closed for France, Italy, the Netherlands and several other EPC member States (see Section 10). A PCT applicant seeking protection in those countries must enter the PCT regional phase at the EPO.

As an example for understanding the table below, the Algerian patent Office received 11 PCT international application filings in 2007 and 564 PCT national phase entries in 2006, whereas applicants having Algerian origin filed, worldwide, 12 PCT international applications in 2007 and 3 PCT national phase entries in 2006.

Name Code PCT International Phase Filings in 2007 PCT National Phase Entries in 2006
At Receiving Office By Country of Origin At Designated /Elected Office By Country of Origin
African Intellectual Property Organization OA 1      
Algeria DZ 11 12 564 3
Andorra AD   3   2
Antigua and Barbuda AG       3
Argentina AR   31   45
Armenia AM 3 4 1  
Australia AU 2'023 2'071 20'185 6'477
Austria AT 577 1'000 465 2'365
Azerbaijan AZ 7 7    
Bahamas BS   38   31
Barbados BB   168   303
Belarus BY 6 10 148 2
Belgium BE 130 1'117   3'508
Belize BZ   1 36 8
Bolivia BO   1   2
Bosnia and Herzegovina BA 11 13 160  
Brazil BR 378 394 18'057 573
Bulgaria BG 26 29 40 30
Burundi BI   1    
Cameroon CM   1   2
Canada CA 2'393 2'827 30'536 6'219
Chile CL   17   18
China CN 5'456 5'470 48'200 2'260
Colombia CO   45   6
Cook Islands CK   1    
Costa Rica CR 2 3   8
Croatia HR 59 79 98 56
Cuba CU 22 22   29
Cyprus CY 5 74   54
Czech Republic CZ 119 129 109 251
Democratic People's Republic of Korea KP 2 2 54  
Denmark DK 752 1'172 37 3'537
Dominican Republic DO 2 2    
Ecuador EC 4 2   4
Egypt EG 42 40   19
El Salvador SV       1
Estonia EE 25 29 2 11
Eurasian Patent Organization EA 10   1'867  
European Patent Office EP 26'332   74'223  
Fiji FJ   1    
Finland FI 1'039 1'994 73 4'958
France FR 3'363 6'523   16'745
Gabon GA       1
Georgia GE 6 8 261 7
Germany DE 2'329 17'889 3'008 43'611
Ghana GH 1      
Greece GR 65 86   138
Guatemala GT   2    
Hong Kong, China HK   1   60
Hungary HU 130 161 176 543
Iceland IS 26 51 329 70
India IN 607 880   1'615
Indonesia ID 5 9 3'805 2
International Bureau IB 8'916      
Iran (Islamic Republic of) IR   3   6
Iraq IQ   1    
Ireland IE 125 393   1'070
Israel IL 1'649 1'719 5'795 3'194
Italy IT 924 2'911   6'289
Japan JP 27'230 27'732 50'971 63'363
Jordan JO   22    
Kazakhstan KZ 14 14   6
Kenya KE   4 30 4
Kuwait KW   3   1
Kyrgyzstan KG 1 2   2
Latvia LV 6 21 20 16
Lebanon LB   2   6
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya LY       1
Liechtenstein LI   67   166
Lithuania LT 10 13 24 7
Luxembourg LU   155   474
Madagascar MG     39  
Malaysia MY 93 105   42
Malta MT   13   5
Marshall Islands MH       1
Mauritius MU   9   4
Mexico MX 157 182 12'932 263
Monaco MC   7   32
Mongolia MN     101  
Morocco MA 13 18    
Namibia NA   2   2
Netherlands NL 1'042 4'165   16'843
New Zealand NZ 390 395 4'494 974
Nigeria NG   1    
Norway NO 460 596 4'264 1'572
Pakistan PK   4    
Panama PA   12   10
Papua New Guinea PG       1
Peru PE   2    
Philippines PH 17 18 2'666 20
Poland PL 88 102 443 162
Portugal PT 51 90 1 144
Republic of Korea KR 7'138 7'066 27'212 7'874
Republic of Moldova MD 5 4 7  
Romania RO 24 29 35 29
Russian Federation RU 654 647 7'571 643
Saint Kitts and Nevis KN   2    
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines VC       1
San Marino SM 2 20    
Saudi Arabia SA   43   27
Senegal SN   1    
Serbia RS 21 23   6
Serbia and Montenegro (formerly Yugoslavia) YU   1   6
Seychelles SC   6   10
Singapore SG 443 533 6'922 648
Slovakia SK 34 38 59 58
Slovenia SI 47 86   92
South Africa ZA 87 405 5'781 274
Spain ES 984 1'290 75 2'124
Sri Lanka LK   7   2
Sudan SD 4 4    
Sweden SE 2'272 3'646 67 8'527
Switzerland CH 649 3'728 13 12'415
Syrian Arab Republic SY 2 2    
T F Y R of Macedonia MK 4 5   2
Thailand TH   5   12
Trinidad and Tobago TT 1 1 536  
Tunisia TN 4 7   3
Turkey TR 150 355 182 303
Ukraine UA 79 93 2'102 38
United Arab Emirates AE   18   32
United Kingdom GB 5'605 5'610 2'011 15'100
United Republic of Tanzania TZ       1
United States of America US 52'969 53'147 44'842 123'824
Uruguay UY   5   2
Uzbekistan UZ     168  
Venezuela VE   4   3
Viet Nam VN 3 6    
Zimbabwe ZW       2
Others XX   209   15'175

 

9. GLOSSARY

This glossary is an extract from the PCT and PATENTSCOPE® glossaries17.

Term Definition
Applicant A person claiming to be the first and true inventor, or assignee of the first and true inventor of an invention. There may be one or more applicants. In the United States, the applicant(s) must be the inventor(s).

For a PCT international application, at least one of the applicants must be any natural person or legal entity who is a national or resident of a PCT Contracting State.

An applicant is sometimes known as an assignee or owner.

Chapter I The chapter of the PCT that regulates the filing of the international application, international search, establishment of the written opinion of the International Searching Authority, international publication of the international application, and provides for the communication of the international application and related documents to designated Offices.
Chapter II The chapter of the PCT that regulates the optional international preliminary examination procedure and provides for the communication of the International Preliminary Examination Report and certain related documents to elected Offices.

A demand may be filed by the applicant to enter Chapter II. If no demand is filed, the application remains in Chapter I.

Demand A demand (on Form PCT/IPEA/401) by the applicant for international preliminary examination to be carried out on the international application. The demand indicates the applicants, agents, and the international application to which it relates as well as indications of elements to be considered for examination.
Designated Office A national or regional Office of or acting for a State designated in an international application under Chapter I of the PCT.
Designated State A Contracting State indicated in the international application in which protection for the invention is sought.
Elected Office The national or regional Office of or acting for a State elected by the applicant under Chapter II, in which the applicant intends to use the results of the international preliminary examination.
Examination A scrutiny by an official, usually a patent examiner, of an Intellectual Property Office, to determine the acceptability of a patent. Patents are examined to determine if an invention is novel, contains an inventive step (not obvious), is industrially applicable (useful), and meets other criteria.
International application See "PCT international application".
International Authority An organization that fulfills specific tasks, as prescribed by the PCT.
International Bureau This refers to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization. In addition to its task as receiving Office for applicants from all Contracting States, it handles certain processing tasks in respect of all international applications filed with all receiving Offices worldwide.
International Filing Date The date of receipt of the international application by the receiving Office, which is accorded when the international application complies with the requirements.
International Patent Classification (IPC) International Patent Classification is a hierarchical system in which the whole area of technology is divided into a range of sections, classes, subclasses and groups. The Classification is a language independent tool indispensable for the retrieval of patent documents in the search for "prior art."
International phase A procedure consisting of four main steps:

(1) the filing of an international application and its processing by the receiving Office;
(2) the establishment of an International Search Report and a written opinion by the International Searching Authority;
(3) the international publication of the international application and related documents, as well as their communication to the designated and elected Offices; and
(4) an option of international preliminary examination, which concludes with the establishment of the international preliminary report on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT).

International preliminary examination The objective of the international preliminary examination is to formulate a preliminary and non-binding opinion on whether the claimed invention appears to be novel, to involve an inventive step (to be non-obvious) and to be industrially applicable.
International Preliminary Examination Report (IPER) A preliminary, non-binding opinion, established by the International Preliminary Examining Authority on the request of the applicant, on the questions whether the claimed invention appears to be novel, to involve an inventive step (to be non-obvious) and to be industrially applicable. As of 1 January 2004, this report is also known as the "international preliminary report on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT)".
International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) An Authority (either a national Office or an intergovernmental organization) appointed by the PCT Assembly to carry out the international preliminary examination procedure. Its task is to establish the international preliminary report on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT).
International preliminary report on patentability (Chapter I of the PCT) A preliminary, non-binding report on whether the claimed invention appears to be patentable. It is issued by the International Bureau on behalf of the International Searching Authority under Chapter I of the PCT where an International Preliminary Examination Report has not been or will not be established. The report has essentially the same contents as the written opinion of the International Searching Authority.
International preliminary report on patentability (Chapter II of the PCT) A preliminary, non-binding opinion, established by the International Preliminary Examining Authority on the request of the applicant, on the questions whether the claimed invention appears to be novel, to involve an inventive step (to be non-obvious) and to be industrially applicable. This report was previously called the "International Preliminary Examination Report".
International publication See "Publication".
International search The objective of the international search is to discover relevant prior art and to establish an International Search Report and a written opinion of the International Searching Authority that carries out the search.
International Search Report (ISR) Report established by the International Searching Authority containing citations of documents considered to be relevant for the claimed invention (relevant prior art), the classification of the subject matter of the invention and an indication of the fields searched as well as indications of any electronic data base searched. Furthermore, it may contain remarks concerning unity of invention.
International Searching Authority (ISA) An Authority (either a national Office or an intergovernmental organization) appointed by the PCT Assembly to carry out international searches. It establishes International Search Reports and the written opinion of the International Searching Authority.
Invention An invention or innovation is the creation of a new technical idea and of the physical means to accomplish. To be patentable, an invention must be novel, involve an inventive step (to be non-obvious) and be industrially applicable.
National Phase This follows the international phase of the PCT procedure, and consists of the entry and processing of the international application in the individual countries or regions in which the applicant seeks protection for his invention.
Novelty Search Synonym for patentability search. A novelty search is made to identify patents and non-patent literature which may affect the patentability of an invention. This search is recommended to applicants to be done before writing and filing the patent specification and as such is sometimes called a pre-application search. The scope of a novelty search is narrower than a State-of-the-Art search.
Patent A patent is a document which describes an invention which can be manufactured, used and sold with the authorization of the owner of the patent. An invention is a solution to a specific technical problem. A patent document normally contains at least one claim, the full text of the description of the invention, and bibliographic information such as the applicant’s name. The protection given by a patent is limited in time (generally 15 to 20 years from filing or grant). It is also limited territorially to the country or countries concerned.

A patent is an agreement between an inventor and a country. The agreement permits the owner to exclude others from making, using or selling the claimed invention.

Patent Application A patent application is a document submitted by an inventor requesting to be issued a patent for an invention described in the specification which accompanies the application.
Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is an international treaty, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The PCT is a system facilitating the worldwide filing of patent applications. The PCT makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries (who are Contracting States to the PCT) by first filing a single "international" patent application. Later, the granting of patents remains under the control of the national or regional patent Offices in what is called the "regional phase" or "national phase".
Patentability Search Synonym for novelty search. A patentability search is made to identify patents and non-patent literature which may affect the patentability of an invention. This search is recommended to applicants to be done before writing and filing the patent specification, and as such is sometimes called a pre-application search. The scope of a patentability search is narrower than a State-of-the-Art search.
PATENTSCOPE® The WIPO's gateway to patent services and activities. On this portal, PATENTSCOPE® search service allows access, at no cost, to the wealth of technological information contained in all published international patent applications since the beginning in 1978. Since April 2006, the PATENTSCOPE® search service is the authentic publication source of international applications in full text format on publication day. Powerful and flexible search interfaces allow retrieval of relevant international applications and associated information.
PCT-EASY (Electronic Application System) The portion of the PCT-SAFE software which assists applicants in preparing the request form for a PCT-EASY filing, in which the electronic data of the request form and the abstract are saved on a physical medium (diskette or CD) and a paper printout of the request form is prepared and filed together with the rest of the international application with a receiving Office that accepts such filings.
PCT International Application An application for the protection of an invention filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). An international application contains a request, a description, one or more claims, one or more drawings (where required) and an abstract.
Prior art Everything which has been made available to the public before the relevant date anywhere in the world by means of written disclosure and which can be of assistance in determining whether the claimed invention is new and involves an inventive step (i.e. is not obvious) for the purposes of international search and international preliminary examination.
Priority application The application with the filing date where an inventor files for a patent in more than one country. The Paris Convention enables an inventor to file in a first country and then claim priority (for a period up to 12 months) for filing an application in other countries which are contracting parties to the Paris Convention or (under the PCT) which are Members of the World Trade Organization.
Priority Date In the context of the PCT, priority date means the filing date of the earliest application of which priority is claimed, and if no priority is claimed, the priority date is the international filing date.
Publication In publications on industrial property information matters, the terms "publication" and "published" are normally used in the sense of making available the contents of a document to the public.

Depending on the particular national law, patent documents may be published on several levels of publication, as detailed in WIPO Standard ST.16.

The international application and related documents are published after the expiration of 18 months from the priority date unless the applicant requests early publication of the PCT international application or unless the application is withdrawn or considered withdrawn.

Receiving Office The national Office, intergovernmental or international organization with which the international application is filed and which checks and processes it according to the PCT and its Regulations.
Regional Phase The equivalent to the national phase where States have appointed a regional Office having the power to grant patens effective in more than one State. As with the national phase, the regional phase follows the international phase of the PCT procedure.
Search The search is made to identify any documents considered to be necessary to determine whether the invention is new and involves an inventive step. Types of search:

(1) According to technical means used e.g.: manual search (in a paper collection), on-line search (in a computerized file), offline electronic search (e.g. in a DVD collection).
(2) According to the purpose of the search: state of the art search, novelty search, infringement search, etc.
(3) According to the means used: classification search, name search, catchword (keyword) search, full text search, text mining etc.

Search Report Report of the results of a search of the state of the art, made by or on behalf of an industrial property Office, indicating citations considered relevant for determining, in particular, the novelty and inventive step of the invention as claimed. Citations may negate the patentability of material described in the patent document.
State of the Art The level of development to which a particular area of technical subject matter has advanced at a given date, to help guide research. It consists of everything disclosed to the public, including Patents and non-patent literature. Synonym of Prior Art.

In connection with a particular invention, the state of the art is decisive for the determination of the patentability of the invention in regard to novelty and inventive step.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) WIPO is a specialized agency of the United Nations, that has two main objectives. The first is to promote the protection of intellectual property worldwide. The second is to ensure administrative cooperation among the intellectual property Unions established by the treaties that WIPO administers.
Written Opinion of the International Preliminary Examining Authority A document, issued by the International Preliminary Examining Authority to the applicant, which indicates any observations as provided for in Rule 66.2. The written opinion of the International Searching Authority is, in general, considered as the written opinion of the International Preliminary Examining Authority.
Written Opinion of the International Searching Authority A document established by the International Searching Authority, at the same time as the International Search Report, containing an opinion as to whether the claimed invention appears to be novel, to involve an inventive step (to be non-obvious) and to be industrially applicable, as well as whether the international application complies with the requirements of the PCT and the Regulations under the PCT in so far as checked by the International Searching Authority.

 

10. PCT CONTRACTING STATES

During 2007, 4 new Contracting States become bound by the PCT, namely: Angola (27 December), Bahrain (1 March), the Dominican Republic (28 May) and Malta (18 March) – bringing the number of States which have acceded to the PCT by 31 December 2007 to 138 as follows:

AE United Arab Emirates EE Estonia (EP) LC Saint Lucia PT Portugal (EP)
AG Antigua and Barbuda EG Egypt LI Liechtenstein (EP) RO Romania (EP)
AL Albania1 ES Spain (EP) LK Sri Lanka RS Serbia
AM Armenia (EA) FI Finland (EP) LR Liberia RU Russian
AO Angola FR France (EP)2 LS Lesotho (AP) Federation (EA)
AT Austria (EP) GA Gabon (OA)2 LT Lithuania (EP) SC Seychelles
AU Australia GB United Kingdom (EP) LU Luxembourg (EP) SD Sudan (AP)
AZ Azerbaijan (EA) GD Grenada LV Latvia (EP) SE Sweden (EP)
BA Bosnia and GE Georgia LY Libyan Arab SG Singapore
Herzegovina1 GH Ghana (AP) Jamahiriya SI Slovenia (EP)2
BB Barbados GM Gambia (AP) MA Morocco SK Slovakia (EP)
BE Belgium (EP)2 GN Guinea (OA)2 MC Monaco (EP) 2 SL Sierra Leone (AP)
BF Burkina Faso (OA)2 GQ Equatorial MD Moldova (EA) SM San Marino
BG Bulgaria (EP) Guinea (OA)2 ME Montenegro SN Senegal (OA)2
BH Bahrain GR Greece (EP)2 MG Madagascar SV El Salvador
BJ Benin (OA)2 GT Guatemala MK The former SY Syrian Arab
BR Brazil GW Guinea-Bissau (OA)2 Yugoslav Republic Republic
BW Botswana (AP) HN Honduras of Macedonia1 SZ Swaziland (AP)2
BY Belarus (EA) HR Croatia1 ML Mali (OA)2 TD Chad (OA)2
BZ Belize HU Hungary (EP) MN Mongolia TG Togo (OA)2
CA Canada ID Indonesia MR Mauritania (OA)2 TJ Tajikistan (EA)
CF Central African IE Ireland (EP)2 MT Malta (EP) TM Turkmenistan (EA)
Republic (OA)2 IL Israel MW Malawi (AP) TN Tunisia
CG Congo (OA)2 IN India MX Mexico TR Turkey (EP)
CH Switzerland (EP) IS Iceland (EP) MY Malaysia TT Trinidad and Tobago
CI Côte d'Ivoire (OA)2 IT Italy (EP)2 MZ Mozambique (AP) TZ United Republic of
CM Cameroon (OA)2 JP Japan NA Namibia (AP) Tanzania (AP)
CN China KE Kenya (AP) NE Niger (OA)2 UA Ukraine
CO Colombia KG Kyrgyzstan (EA) NG Nigeria UG Uganda (AP)
CR Costa Rica KM Comoros NI Nicaragua US United States of
CU Cuba KN Saint Kitts and NL Netherlands (EP)2 America
CY Cyprus (EP) 2 Nevis NO Norway UZ Uzbekistan
CZ Czech Republic (EP) KP Democratic People's NZ New Zealand VC Saint Vincent and
DE Germany (EP) Republic of Korea OM Oman the Grenadines
DK Denmark (EP) KR Republic of Korea PG Papua New Guinea VN Viet Nam
DM Dominica KZ Kazakhstan (EA) PH Philippines ZA South Africa
DO Dominican Republic LA Lao People's PL Poland (EP) ZM Zambia (AP)
DZ Algeria Democratic Republic   ZW Zimbabwe (AP)
EC Ecuador      

_________________________

1 Extension of European patent possible.
2 May only be designated for a regional patent (the "national route" via the PCT has been closed).

Where a State can be designated for a regional patent, the two-letter code for the regional patent concerned is indicated in parentheses (AP = ARIPO patent, EA = Eurasian patent, EP = European patent, OA = OAPI patent).

 

PCT Contracting States in 2007

Note: It should be noted that even though the filing of a request constitutes under PCT Rule 4.9(a) the designation of all Contracting States bound by the PCT on the international filing date, for the grant of every kind of protection available and, where applicable, for the grant of both regional and national patents, applicants should always use the latest versions of the request form (PCT/RO/101) and demand form (PCT/IPEA/401) (the latest versions are dated April 2007) or, if filing the request using the PCT-EASY features of the PCT-SAFE software, the latest version of that software (which is available at: www.wipo.int/pct-safe).The request and demand forms can be printed from the web site, in editable PDF format, at: http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/forms/index.htm, or obtained from receiving Offices or the International Bureau or, in the case of the demand form, also from International Preliminary Examining Authorities.

 

11. MORE RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET

The following patent resources are available on the WIPO Internet:

PATENTSCOPE® - WIPO's gateway to patent services and activities. http://www.wipo.int/patentscope/en/
Information on the PCT System http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/
PATENTSCOPE® search service - Search PCT International Applications and view/download complete patent applications and related documentation. http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/
PCT Statistics - monthly and yearly statistics on the PCT system, including comparative list of applicants and details of the indicators included in this report. http://www.wipo.int/ipstats/en/statistics/pct/
Law of Patents - includes current and emerging issues related to patents, information on WIPO-administered treaties, access to national/regional patent laws, patent law harmonization. http://www.wipo.int/patent-law/en/

 

________________________________________

1 See official PCT fee tables [PDF]. Amounts can fluctuate with exchange rates.

2 Available at http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/basic_facts/faqs_about_the_pct.pdf

3 Regular updates are made at http://www.wipo.int/ipstats/en/

4 Provisional estimate - WIPO continues to receive PCT international applications filed with national Offices in 2007 throughout the first half of the year 2008.

5 In the following publication languages: English, French, German and Spanish

6 Provisional estimate - WIPO continues to receive PCT international applications filed with national Offices in 2007 throughout the first half of the year 2008.

7 Created by OST, INPI and FhG-ISI.

8 For further information on PCT national phase data, please refer to the Preface.

9 Transmittal under Rule 19.4 of the PCT Regulations.

10 http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/sequences/

11 http://www.wipo.int/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/

12 http://www.wipo.int/ipstats/en/statistics/models/

13 Twelve Authorities are functioning in 2007 (see paragraph 7.2)

14 Some of these issues were later discussed by the PCT Assembly in October 2007

15 See "Statistical Sources" in the Preface

16 See EPC member States in Section 10

17 Available at http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/texts/glossary.html and http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/glossary.jsp

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