According to the WIPO statistics, the United States was the second-largest origin of the PCT applications in 2021. However, the US associates accounted only for 13% or 6,192 of relevant applications represented by the top 50 IP law firms for PCT filings. Obviously, not many of them made it to the top positions. The two factors can potentially explain the inconsistency. First of all, there might be many mid-sized law firms in those countries active in PCTs. Secondly, the position of the internal IP departments is relatively strong in the United States. For instance, some key corporates such as General Electric, Microsoft, or IBM frequently represent themselves without any assistance from external representatives. Once included, they can easily make it to the Top 50 list.
The same dynamics apply to European associates. Even though WIPO statistics state that a substantial share of PCT filings originated from Germany, France, and Great Britain, law firms from those countries did not make it to the 50 most significant representatives list.
Last but not least, Korean representatives such as Y.P.LEE, MOCK & PARTNERS, ENVISION PATENT & LAW FIRM, and YOON & LEE INTERNATIONAL PATENT & LAW FIRM, among others, were prominently present in the list of Top 50.
In a nutshell, IP law firms from China continued to be the most prominent representatives for PCT filings in 2021, which is somewhat proportional to the number of PCT applications originating from a country overall. In contrast to China, while being among the leaders according to the recent WIPO report, American representatives took over the smaller share of PCT filings handled by the top 50, which potentially can be due to the relatively strong position of the critical corporations’ internal IP departments. Similar dynamics might be relevant for European representatives. They were not present in the Top 50 list despite the overall leadership based on the number of PCT applications originating from the region.