The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released the results of the international applications of patents, trademarks and industrial designs in 2019. China in 2019 surpassed the United States of America (U.S.) for the first time as the top source of international patent applications filed with the WIPO.

In 2019, international patent applications filed via the PCT grew by 5.2% (265,800 applications); while international trademark applications via the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks increased by 5.7% (64,400 applications); protection for industrial designs via the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs saw a growth of 10.4% (21,807 designs).

  • Top PCT filing countries


In 2019, the top five users of the PCT were: China (58,990), the U.S (57,840), Japan (52,660), Germany (19,353) and the Republic of Korea (19,085). Applicants based in Asia accounted for 52.4% of all PCT applications filed in 2019, while Europe (23.2%) and North America (22.8%) accounted for less than a quarter each.

  • Top PCT filers

For the third consecutive year, China-based telecoms giant Huawei Technologies, with 4,411 published PCT applications, was the top corporate filer in 2019. The top 10 applicant list comprises four companies from China, two from the Republic of Korea, and one each from Germany, Japan, Sweden and the U.S. Of the top 10 applicants, six filed mainly in digital communication, namely, Ericsson, Guang Dong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications, Huawei Technologies, LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm.

[TOP 10 PCT applicants in 2019]

[TOP 10 Chinese PCT applicants in 2019]

  • Top technologies

Among the fields of technology, computer technology (8.7% of total) accounted for the largest share of published PCT applications, followed by digital communication (7.7%), electrical machinery (7%), medical technology (6.9%) and measurement (4.7%). Among the top 10 technologies, semiconductors (+12%) and computer technology (+11.9%) were the fields with the highest rates of growth in 2019.