According to the data from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a total of 233,000 international patent applications were filed under WIPO's Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in 2016, representing a year-on-year increase of 7.3%.
The 2016 PCT filings continued to be headed, for the consecutive 39th year, by the US-based applicants, who filed 56,595 PCT applications during the year, followed by applicants from Japan (45,239), China (43,168), Germany (18,315), and Republic of Korea (15,560). China's PCT filings saw a phenomenal growth of 44.7% this year (2015: 16.8%).
In terms of top PCT applicants, Chinese telecom companies ZTE Corporation and Huawei Technologies occupied the first two spots with 4,123 (2015: 3,898) and 3,692 (2015: 2,155) published PCT applications respectively. They were followed by Qualcomm Incorporated of the US (2,466), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Japan (2,053), and LG Electronics of the Republic of Korea (1,888).
By field of technology, digital communication (8.5%) accounted for the largest share of published PCT applications, followed by computer technology (8.2%), electrical machinery (6.9%), and medical technology (6.8%).
(Source: China Patent Agent (H.K.) Ltd website)