Record Year for International Patent Filings and Trademark Applications

April 2007

Top Filing Companies in 2006


Madrid System

Philips Electronics N.V., Holland (2,495)

Lidl, Germany

Matsushita, Japan (2,344)

Novartis, Switzerland

Siemens, Germany (1,480)

Janssen Pharmaceutica, Belgium

Nokia, Finland (1,036)

Henkel, Germany

Bosch, Germany (962)

Nestlé, Switzerland


PCT: chart-topping figures from Northeast Asia

A record 145,300 international patent applications were filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2006, an increase of 6.4 percent over the previous year. For the third year running, the most remarkable growth rates came from countries in northeast Asia, the source of 25.3 percent of all international applications under the PCT. The fastest growing technology areas were semiconductors (28 percent increase), information technology and pharmaceuticals.

"Developing country economies are capitalizing on the tools of the intellectual property system for wealth creation," said WIPO Deputy Director General Francis Gurry. "New centers of innovation – in particular in northeast Asia – are emerging and this is transforming both the geography of the patent system and of future global economic growth."

While the U.S., Japan and Germany remained the top three filing countries, the Republic of Korea, with a 26.6 percent increase, overtook the U.K. and France to become the fourth biggest country filer. Applications from China, where PCT use grew by an impressive 56.8 percent, dislodged Switzerland and Sweden to take eighth position. Among the top fifteen, Italy and Israel also achieved double-digit increases.

More PCT figures on the WIPO website.

Madrid System: Germany holds its lead

WIPO received a record 36,471 applications in 2006 under the Madrid System for the international registration of trademarks – up 8.6 percent over 2005. For the 14th consecutive year applicants from Germany headed the list of top filers, accounting for 18 percent of the total, followed by users in France. After only three years as a member of the Madrid System, users in the U.S. ranked third, followed by Italy and the Benelux.

WIPO Assistant Director General Ernesto Rubio noted that international trademark filings had increased by over 25 percent in several countries, including Australia, Italy, the Republic of Korea and Norway. Applications from Morocco were up by over 80 percent.

The 25 countries of the European Union together accounted for around two-thirds of applications in 2006. Since October 2004, applicants from these countries have the option of filing their international applications either through their national trademark office or through the European Community’s regional Trademark Office (OHIM) in Alicante.

For the second consecutive year, China was the country most frequently designated by applicants for protection, reflecting increasing levels of trading activity by foreign companies in China. It was followed by the Russian Federation, Switzerland, the U.S and Japan. Increasingly, applicants are opting to designate the EC as a whole for trademark protection rather than individual EC countries. Ukraine moved from 13th to 9th place with a 9.5 percent increase in designations.

Fees for international registration averaged under 3,500 Swiss Francs. The reduced basic fee payable to WIPO by applicants from the least-developed countries (LDCs) is 65 to 90 Swiss Francs. Currently LDC members of the Madrid System are Bhutan, Lesotho, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Zambia.

More Madrid figures on the WIPO website.

Top Filing Companies in Developing Countries in 2006


Madrid System

Huawei Technologies, China

China Network Communications Group Corp., China

LG Electronics, Korea

Shanghai Tyre & Rubber Co., China

Samsung Electronics, Korea

Xiamen Xingyatai Plastic Industry Co., China

LG Chem , Korea

ESTsoft Corp, Korea

Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Korea


ZTE Corporation, China

Maroc Telecom, Morocco

Agency for Science, Technology and Research Singapore

Asia Pacific Breweries, Singapore

Ranbaxy Laboratories, India

Société de Promotion Pharmaceutique du Mahgreb "Promopharm", Morocco

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India

INGELEC, Morocco

NHN Corporation, Korea

Office National de Commercialisation des Produits Viti-Vinicoles, Algeria


Based on WIPO Press Releases no.s 476 of February 8, and 480 of March 15.




The WIPO Magazine is intended to help broaden public understanding of intellectual property and of WIPO’s work, and is not an official document of WIPO. The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of WIPO concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. This publication is not intended to reflect the views of the Member States or the WIPO Secretariat. The mention of specific companies or products of manufacturers does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by WIPO in preference to others of a similar nature that are not mentioned.