In 2007 the largest shares of international PCT patent applications have been taken by Computer technology 6.6%, Medical technology 6.4%, Biotechnology 6.0%, Telecommunications 5.7%, Electrical machinery, apparatus, energy 4.9%, Macromolecular chemistry, polymers 4.7%, Measurement 4.3%, Control 3.7%, Digital communication 3.5%, and Transport 3.4%. From 2000 to 2007 the technologies that witnessed the fastest increase in applications have been Micro-structural and nano-technology 25.8%, Semiconductors 15.4% , Computer technology 13.8%, Digital communication 13.4%, Optics 12.6%, Thermal processes and apparatus 12.4%, Electrical machinery, apparatus, energy 11.9%, Transport 10.8%, Furniture, games 10.7%, and Biotechnology 10.6%.

Patent applications favour leading edge fields such as Computer technology (6.6% of total applications in 2007), Medical technology, Biotechnology and Telecommunications (median = 2.74%, orange horizontal line). The technologies of the future may well be those where the average growth of filed applications is higher: Micro-structural and nano-technology (25.8% between 2000 and 2007), Semiconductors, Computer technology and Digital communication (median = 9.78%, orange vertical line).

 

Patent Applications by Field of Technology ¹

Field of Technology
(Set of higher ranking technologies)

Short Code

Average Annual Growth 2000-2007

Share of Total Applications ²

Micro-structural and nano-technology Nano 25.8% 0.2%
Semiconductors SemiCond 15.4% 3.2%
Computer technology CompuTec 13.8% 6.6%
Digital communication DigiCom 13.4% 3.5%
Optics Optics 12.6% 3.0%
Thermal processes and apparatus Thermal 12.4% 1.2%
Electrical machinery, apparatus, energy ElectrMach 11.9% 4.9%
Transport Transp 10.8% 3.4%
Furniture, games FurnGames 10.7% 2.2%
Biotechnology Biotec 10.6% 6.0%
Engines, pumps, turbines Engine 10.5% 2.2%
Measurement Measur 10.0% 4.3%
Materials, metallurgy Materials 10.0% 2.1%
Food chemistry Food 9.9% 1.2%
Mechanical elements Mechanic 9.8% 2.5%
Medical technology MedTec 9.7% 6.4%
Telecommunications Telecom 9.7% 5.7%
Other consumer goods ConsGood 9.6% 1.9%
Analysis of biological materials AnalBiol 9.4% 1.4%
Environmental technology Environ 9.3% 1.4%
Macromolecular chemistry, polymers Polym 7.8% 4.7%
Control Control 1.4% 3.7%
Audio-visual technology AudioVid 8.8% 3.3%
Surface technology, coating Surface 7.3% 3.3%
Chemical engineering ChemEng 6.1% 2.7%
Other special machines SpecMach 6.6% 2.7%
Handling Handling 8.9% 2.5%
Organic fine chemistry OrgChem 6.3% 2.4%
Civil engineering CivEng 8.3% 2.3%
¹ Include only international patent applications filed under the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty). Do not include other national or regional applications.
² The total number of PCT applications reported by field of technology is greater than the total number of PCT applications published by WIPO, because patent documents may record multiple classification classes.

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Sources: see WIPO

 

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