While Chinese and Japanese law firms dominated rankings of the top 50 law and attorney firms that filed the most published PCT applications last year, data compiled by IP-Pilot shows that the number of applications filed by some firms was surprisingly volatile.

ESSEN Patent & Law Firm, for example, recorded the most PCT applications in 2020 (2,575). That number fell to 571 last year, seeing it plummet from first place in the league table to forty-fourth.

The top spot was swiped by Chinese firm Scihead IP Group, which had occupied third place in both 2020 and 2019. The 2,420 applications it filed last year elevated the firm to the top of the ranking.

The top 10 firms for PCT applications were all Chinese or Japanese, bar one US outfit – Fish & Richardson – which took eighth place.

This table below reveals the top 10 firms for PCT filings in 2021 and their movement on 2020. The full top 50 list, and detail on the firms with the highest increases and decreases in filing figures (as well as plus data by country) can be accessed by IAM subscribers in our Data Hub.

The EPO figures tell a more static story, with the top three firms remaining in situ. Hoffman Eitle sits at the top of the table for the fourth time since we started following the data. Grünecker and Dehns took second and third positions, respectively, in 2021, also showing no movement on the previous couple of years.

German companies continued to maintain a hold over European patent applications, accounting for 45% of the 2021 total. In percentage terms that, too, mirrored 2020.

The following table shows the top 10 firms for EPO filings in 2021 and their movement on 2020. The full top 50 data can, again, be found on IAM’s data hub.

Both sets of data, compiled by IP-Pilot, are based on the number of patent applications first published last year.