March 2023 | No. 03/2023


PCT Filings in 2022

In 2022, PCT filings rose by 0.3% over 2021, totaling 278,100 – the highest number ever recorded in a single year1.  China remained the largest origin of PCT filings, with 70,015 applications filed (+0.6% growth over 2021), followed by the United States of America (U.S.), with 59,056 applications (-0.6%).  Japan (50,345, +0.1%), the Republic of Korea (22,012, +6.2%) and Germany (17,530, +1.5%) again held the third, fourth and fifth rankings, respectively.  The top 10 countries of origin, followed by their respective percentage share of all filings, were as follows:

1. China 70,015 25.1%
2. United States of America 59,056 21.2%
3. Japan 50,345 18.1%
4. Republic of Korea 22,012 7.9%
5. Germany 17,530 6.3%
6. France 7,764 2.8%
7. United Kingdom 5,739 2.1%
8. Switzerland 5,367 1.9%
9. Sweden 4,471 1.6%
10. Netherlands 4,092 1.5%

Beyond the top 10, certain other countries saw strong growth in 2022, including India (2,618 applications, +25.4%).

For information on the number of filings from all countries, including a comparison with filings in 2021, please refer to Annex 1 of WIPO Press Release PR/2023/899 at:


China-based telecommunications company Huawei Technologies was the top PCT applicant for the sixth year running, with 7,689 applications published in 2022, followed by Samsung Electronics of the Republic of Korea (4,387), Qualcomm Inc. of the U.S. (3,855), Mitsubishi Electric Corp. of Japan (2,320) and Ericsson of Sweden (2,158).  Of the top 10 applicants, Samsung Electronics recorded the most significant increase (+44.3%) in the number of published applications in 2022, and as a result moved up from third position in 2021 to second in 2022, followed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation of Japan (+24.9%), which rose from twelfth position in 2021 to joint seventh in 2022.

The top ten applicants are listed below, with the number of PCT applications published in 2022 in which they were named as applicant:

1. Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd (CN) 7,689
2. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd (KR) 4,387
3. Qualcomm Incorporated (US) 3,855
4. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (JP) 2,320
5. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Publ) (SE) 2,158
6. Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd (CN) 1,963
7. Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (JP) 1,884
8. BOE Technology Group Co., Ltd (CN) 1,884
9. LG Electronics Inc. (KR) 1,793
10. Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd. (JP) 1,776

A list of the top 50 PCT applicants is available in Annex 2 of the press release.

In terms of filings by educational institutions, the University of California maintained its position held since 1993 as the largest user of the PCT System with 552 published applications in 2022.  The top 10 list consists of five universities from the U.S., three universities from China and two from the Republic of Korea.  For more detailed information on PCT filings by educational institutions, please refer to Annex 3 of the press release.

Computer technology once again accounted for the largest share of published PCT applications in 2022 (10.4% of the total), followed by digital communication (9.4%), electrical machinery (7.1%), medical technology (7%), and measurement (4.6%).  Eight of the top 10 technologies recorded growth in 2022, with digital communication (+8.7%) and computer technology (+8.1%) reporting the fastest rate of growth, followed by semiconductor (+6.8%), biotechnology (+6.7%) and electric machinery (+6.1%).  For detailed information regarding the distribution of fields of technology of published applications, please refer to Annex 4 of the press release.

The publication of the final figures for 2022 filings (in the form of the Patent Cooperation Treaty Yearly Review - 2023) will be reported in the PCT Newsletter later in the year.

  1. It is important to note that this total, as well as the filing figures which follow, are provisional because not all PCT applications that were filed with national and regional Offices in 2022 have been received at the International Bureau, and the final figures for filings will only be available later in the year.