PCT Yearly Review 2023 edition

July 19, 2023

The PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) yearly review has been released with a special theme of “The expansion of the PCT System over time”. Over the last 44 years, the PCT system has expanded from 20 member states in 1978 to today’s global system covering 81.3% of countries, 86.3% of the population and 94.1% of gross domestic product (GDP). PCT membership has grown by an average of 3.6 new countries per year and PCT applications have grown by 11.5% per year.

Before the PCT system was established, applicants were obliged to file separate patent applications in every country where they sought to protect their innovations within 12 months of filing a first patent application. Using the PCT system applicants are able to file a single application and gain an extra 18 or 19 months to decide where they wish to protect their innovations.

The PCT yearly review contains a comprehensive set of statistics relating to PCT filings and the performance of the international patent system. In 2022, the IB published 272,313 PCT applications, representing a growth of 3.4% in published applications compared to 2021. China remains the biggest filer of PCT applications with Asia now accounting for over half of PCT applications filed. The UK holds on to its 7th place.

WIPO’s latest PCT yearly review – 2023 edition - can be found here.

Swindell & Pearson has extensive experience of the PCT system and of helping clients obtain patent protection around the world. Please contact us should you be interested in finding out more about seeking patent protection abroad.