The national or regional patent office at which the applicant enters the PCT national phase initiates the granting procedure according to prevailing national law. Statistics associated with PCT national phase entry offer information on international patenting strategies.
Most applicants enter the PCT national phase around 18 months from the international filing date. On average, applicants using the PCT system, enter the national phase in slightly less than three patent offices for every PCT application filed. The average fillings of USA is also less than three. In 2008, applicants from Switzerland had, on average, 4.2 PCT national phase entries for every PCT application. In contrast, the average number of PCT national phase entries by applicants from China and the Republic of Korea was relatively low (below 2), revealing a smaller country coverage in the international patenting strategies of applicants from those countries.
The EPO was the most preferred destination for national phase, reflecting the large number of EPC Member States. It had more than 80,000 PCT national phase entries in 2008, followed by USA, China and Japan. The top 20 national phase entries for 2008:
1. European Patent Office 83,576 (regional patent, 27,692 from USA)
2. USA 61,122 (15,988 from Japan)
3. China 57,641
4. Japan 54,546
5. Canada 31,975
6. Republic of Korea 31,909
7. Australia 20,523
8. Brazil 15,639
9. Mexico 14,160
10. Russian Federation 11,499 (except Eurasion patent)
11. Singapore 7,322
12. Israel 6,288
13. Norway 4,902 (except European patent)
14. Germany 3,662 (except European patent, 1,079 from Japan)
15. Malaysia 3,529
16. New Zealand 3,258
17. Philipines 2,828
18. Ukraine 2,548
19. Eurasion Patent Organization 2,545 (regional patent)
20. United Kingdom 1,921 (except European patent)
USA is the top applicant for most of the national phase entry. Japan is the top applicant for USA and Germany national phase entry.