CHINESE COMPANY LEADS EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION LEAGUE
During the presentation of the EPO's results for 2017 on 7 March, EPO President Benoit Battistelli revealed tha,t for the first time in the history of the European Patent Office, a Chinese company came top in terms of patent applications.
During the presentation of the EPO's results for 2017 on 7 March, EPO President Benoit Battistelli revealed tha,t for the first time in the history of the European Patent Office, a Chinese company came top in terms of patent applications. 2017 also saw a new record in the number of intellectual property filings in Europe.
The number of applications for the European patent grew 3.9% to 165 590 submissions, a record figure in the history of the EPO. Most of the requests came from the US (26%), followed by Germany (15%), Japan (13%), France (6%) and China (5%), which made it to the top five thanks to a sharp increase in its patent requests (+16.6%). Huawei led the ranking of patent submissions (2,398 applications), followed by Siemens (2,220), LG (2,056) and Samsung (2,016).
Most European countries submitted a larger number of patent applications to the EPO in 2017. Among the countries with the highest number, applications increased in France (+0.5%), Germany (+1.9%), the United Kingdom (+2.4%) and the Netherlands (+2.7%). On the other hand, Norway (-0.6%), Belgium (-1.9%), and Portugal (-5.7%) were the European countries whose number of patent applications decreased in 2017.
In terms of patent applications per million inhabitants, Switzerland came top of the league (884), followed by the Netherlands (412) and Denmark (377). Most of the applications came from the sectors of medical technology, digital communication and computer technology.
According to Mr Battistelli, “The growing demand for European patents confirms the attractiveness of Europe as a market for leading technologies. The EPO has responded effectively to this constant demand with efficiency measures that have increased production, productivity and meeting deadlines. At the same time, we have optimised the quality of our products and services.” The EPO prides itself in the fact that the certificates issued by the 7,000-employee organisation are seen as more solid compared to intellectual property certificates given by its peers in other regions of the world.