World Intellectual Property Organization

PCT Brief

The International Patent System

PCT recent and future developments

PCT Filings in 2014

In 2014, PCT filings amounted to approximately 215,000, increasing by 4.5%.

This year only China saw double-digit growth while the United States remains the most-active user of the System. The top 5 countries of origin for the year were:

  • United States (61,492)
  • Japan (42,459)
  • China (25,539)
  • Germany (18,008)
  • Republic of Korea (13,151 )

See infographic PDF, press release, PCT filing trends Video.

ePCT-Filing update

The Assembly of the PCT Union (PCT Assembly) was held in Geneva from 23 September to 30 October 2014, as part of the meetings of the Assemblies of the Member States of WIPO. The PCT Assembly:

  • Adopted an understanding on a new procedure for the future appointment of International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authorities (see PCT/A/46/4)
  • Appointed the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore as International Searching and Preliminary Examining Authority (see PCT/A/46/5)
  • Adopted all proposed amendments to the PCT Regulations, including a set of new criteria for fee reductions for qualifying applicants (see PCT/A/46/3)

All documents for this session of the PCT Assembly and the Report are now available.

      Learn the PCT video series

      Learn the PCT is a series of 29 short videos (approximately 15 minutes each) presented by Matthias Reischle, Deputy Director, PCT Legal Division, WIPO [YouTube]. This series is:

        • designed to provide a basic introduction to important aspects and issues in the international phase and national phase of PCT processing;
        • closely follows material covered during basic PCT training seminars and will be particularly useful for those who have not attended such seminars in person, for small and medium-sized enterprises, and for PCT users and potential users in developing and least-developed countries.

        Collaborative search and examination: third pilot to start in 2015

        In reply to industry’s request for a single search report and written opinion presenting the views of the examiners of multiple patent offices, the EPO, KIPO and USPTO have completed a second pilot project that examined:

          • how collaboration between examiners could be implemented in an operational environment; and
          • the benefits and disadvantages of the collaborative approach in terms of quality and efficiency.

          See also the report on the second pilot in document  PCT/MIA/20/4 PDF and the views of the EPO participants in document PCT/WG/5/9 PDF as well as updates in PCT/WG/6/22 PDF and PCT/WG/7/20 PDF.

          The third pilot is planned to start 2015 and to run for three years.

          PCT-Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot (PCT-PPH)

            • 112 individual PCT-PPH pathways are now in place enabling applicants to request a fast track examination procedure.
            • 50 per cent of overall PPH is PCT-PPH.
              See also user experience, Carl Oppedahl [YouTube].


            PCT Working Group

              • The Eighth session of the PCT Working Group will take place from May 26 to 29, 2015. The draft Agenda  is now available.
              • The previous session took place from June 10 to 13, 2014 and the Summary of the session, prepared by the Chair of the Meeting and the Report are available, as is a short article in the PCT Newsletter, June 2014.  

              Meeting of International Authorities (MIA)

                • The 22nd session of the Meeting of International Authorities took place from February 4 to 6, 2015 (Tokyo, Japan) and the Summary prepared by the Chair of the Meeting of International Authorities under the PCT, is now available.
                • The previous session took place from February 11 to 13, 2014 (Tel Aviv, Israel) and the Summary prepared by the Chair of the Meeting of International Authorities under the PCT, is available.

                The PATENTSCOPE search engine

                  • PATENTSCOPE offers free access to over 43 million patent documents in addition to over 2.5 million PCT applications.
                  • Contains the national patent data collections of 39 national or regional patent offices.
                  • PATENTSCOPE features a number of powerful tools, including cross-lingual search and machine translation
                  • Information on national phase processing of PCT applications is now available for 48 Offices.

                  WIPO GREEN

                  WIPO GREEN is a platform that matches owners of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) with those seeking licensing or partnership agreements. Listing your ESTs in the WIPO GREEN platform is free of charge and offers a practical additional means for seeking potential licensees or partners.

                  WIPO Arbitration & Mediation Center

                  Gives 25% reduction in the registration and administration fees for its alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services where at least one party to the dispute has been named as an applicant or inventor in a published PCT application (PCT Newsletter, June 2012, page 8 PDF).

                Supplementary International Search

                Requesting one or more supplementary international searches (SIS), during the PCT procedure, expands both the linguistic and technical scope of the search [PPT]

                  • SIS addresses PCT applicants’ concerns about new prior art being found once they have already incurred significant costs and entered the national phase; and
                  • provides extra information in cases where the applicant believes that the commercial value of an invention warrants the additional expense in the international phase.

                  See also the report in document  PCT/MIA/20/5 PDF.

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