WIPO Releases Statistics on International Patent, Trademark & Design Applications for 2018 


World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has released its statistics on international applications for patent, trademark and design in 2018.
International PCT patent applications
In 2018, international patent applications under Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) reached 253,000, a 3.9% increase over 2017. And Asia, with a share of 50.5% of all PCT applications filed in 2018, became for the first time the source of majority IP applications filed worldwide, while Europe and North America accounted for about a quarter each of 24.5% and 23.1% respectively.
In terms of leading applicants, Asia also dominated by occupying six places in the top ten list (as shown in the table below), with China’s Huawei, ZTE, and BOE taking the first, the fifth and the seventh spots as well as South Korea’s Samsung and LG Electronics taking the sixth and the eighth spots respectively. 

Applicant's name
Number of PCT applications filed in 2018
Huawei Technologies
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Intel Corporation
Qualcomm Incorporated
ZTE Corporation
Samsung Electronics
BOE Technology Group
LG Electronics Inc.
LM Ericsson AB
Robert Bosch Corporation

By country of origin, US-based filings still ranked top in 2018, though slipping 0.9% from 2017 to 56,142, while China was placed second with 53,345 applications, a growth of 9.1%. Ranking third to fifth were Japan (49,702). Germany (19,883), and the Republic of Korea (17,014). As regards the field of technology, digital communication (8.6% of the total) overtook computer technology (8.1%) with the largest share of published PCT applications in 2018. These two fields were followed by electrical machinery (7%), medical technology (6.7%), and transport (4.6%).
International trademark applications via Madrid System
In 2018, 61,200 trademark applications (6.4% up from 2017) were filed via WIPO’s Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks, of which US-based applicants filed the largest number of applications (8,825), followed by those located in Germany (7,495), China (6,900), France (4,490), and Switzerland (3,364).
As for leading filers of international trademark applications in 2018, the top five performers were Novartis AG of Switzerland (174 applications), L’Oréal of France (169), Daimler AG of Germany (129), Apple Inc. of the US (87), and Henkel AG of Germany (86). And the three most-specified classes in international trademark applications during the year were computers and electronics (10.1% of the total), services for business (8%), and technological services (6.7%).
International design applications via Hague System
In 2018, the number of applications filed under the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs grew by 3.7% to 5,404, while the number of designs contained in said applications saw a slight drop of 0.7% to 19,296 designs.
In terms of applicants, Germany-based applicants continued to be the largest users of the international design system (3,964 designs contained in their applications) in 2018, who were followed by those in Switzerland (2,510), the Republic of Korea (1,547), France (1,454), and the Netherlands (1,382).