International patent applications filed under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) grew by 1.7% to 218,000 in 2015, setting a new annual record. The U.S., with 57,385 international patent applications, remains the largest user of the PCT despite an annual drop of 6.7% in 2015 - likely due to an unusually large number of filings in 2014.The U.S. is followed by Japan (44,235 PCT filings) and China (29,846).
Telecoms companies head the list of top PCT filers in 2015, with Huawei Technologies leading for the second consecutive year with 3,898 published PCT applications, or an additional 456 applications over 2015. U.S.-based Qualcomm Incorporated was the second largest applicant in 2015, with 2,442 published applications, while China’s ZTE Corporation ranked third with 2,155 PCT applications.
Among dozens of technical fields, computer technology and digital communication saw the largest numbers of filings in 2015, each exceeding 16,000.
Hewlett-Packard Development Company of the U.S. is the largest filer for computer technology, followed by Huawei Technologies and Qualcomm. For digital communication, Huawei Technologies, ZTE and Qualcomm are the top applicants.
Samsung Electronics of the Republic of Korea, with 1,132 designs, displaced Swatch AG of Switzerland (511 designs) to become the largest user of the Hague System (international design applications).