In March, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced that International patent applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) increased by 6.6% in 2012. WIPO noted that of the 194,000 PCT applications filed last year, Japan and U.S. accounted for nearly half (48.8%) of those applications. Five countries had double-digit growth in PCT filings in 2012: the Netherlands (+14.0%), China (+13.6%), Republic of Korea (+13.4%), Finland (+13.2%), and Japan (+12.3%). PCT filings in several countries dropped in 2012, including Turkey (-16.3%), Mexico (-15.6%), India (-9.2%), Canada (-6.7%), South Africa (-5.3%), the Russian Federation (-4%), Spain (-2.4%), and Australia (-1.8%).
With regard to technical field, electronic machinery (7.5% of published applications), digital communications (7.1%), computer technology (7%), medical technology (6.4%), and pharmaceuticals (4.4%) saw the largest shares of published applications. Biotechnology applications had a 3.0% share of published applications in 2012. While several technical fields saw double-digit growth in share of published applications between 2011 and 2012, including IT methods for management (+22.8%), micro-structural and nano-technology (+21.2%), computer technology (+18.2%), transport (+17.5%), electrical machinery (+17.1%), optics (12.3%), measurement (10.8%), and machine tools (10.6%), biotechnology and pharmaceutical application share rose by only 1.0% and 1.1%, respectively.
WIPO released the following infographic on PCT filings for 2012.