100,000th PCT Application in 2001 is Filed

Geneva, December 18, 2001
Press Updates UPD/2001/155

A new record was hit this year, when this month, the 100,000th international patent application filed under the PCT was received at the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO). WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is a unique global system that facilitates the process of obtaining patent protection in multiple countries. In the PCT's 23 year history, this is the largest number of applications filed in a single year. In 2000, the PCT received 90,948 international applications - representing a notional equivalent of just under 8.5 million national patent applications - which itself was a 22.9% increase on figures for 1999. Since the PCT went into force in 1978, more than 600,000 international applications have been filed.

"Record growth in the use of the PCT is testimony to its relevance as a practical, cost-effective and timely option for inventors that are seeking to convert their know-how into commercial assets through patent protection", said Dr. Kamil Idris, Director General of WIPO.

By filing a patent application under the PCT, an applicant may apply for patent protection in any or all of the 115 PCT member states. This significantly reduces the time and money that needs to be invested in obtaining patent protection. The PCT does not grant patents, but it contributes significantly to the process of seeking patent protection in multiple countries.

Initial statistics also show a significant increase in use of the PCT by nationals from developing countries. Last year's largest users from developing countries came from the Republic of Korea, China and South Africa.

Since Dr. Idris took over leadership of WIPO in 1997, a comprehensive reform of the PCT has been launched. This includes efforts towards automation, lowering of fees, and simplification of the treaty. Fee reductions have been implemented for five consecutive years, leading to a total 45% reduction in fees since 1998.

Detailed information and statistics on the use of the PCT in 2001 will be available in early 2002.

For further information on the PCT and its activities, please refer to https://www.wipo.int/pct/en/ and/or contact the Media Relations & Public Affairs Section at WIPO: Tel: (+41 22) 338 81 61) or 338 95 47; Fax: (+41 22) 338 88 10; E-mail: publicinf@wipo.int.