The 2019 PCT yearly review was recently released, and includes a special report summarizing 40 years of the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Some of the interesting statistics reported include:
• In 1978 20 countries were members of the PCT. By the end of 2018, 152 countries were members.
• It took 26 years for the total number of PCT applications filed to reach one million. The four millionth application is projected to be filed by early 2020, which will correspond to one million PCT applications having been filed in slightly under 4 years.
• 2009 was the only year in which the number of PCT applications decreased relative to the previous year.
• Paper was the only medium available for filing PCT applications in 1978. In 2018, only 2.9% of applications were filed on paper, with the remainder filed electronically.
• Computer technology has been the predominate field of technology in published PCT applications over the past 40 years.
• Panasonic of Japan has the highest number of published PCT applications since 1978, with Huawei of China in second.
The full report is attached. PCT Yearly Review 2019