EPO Hits New Record In Patent Filings; US, China Rise 03/03/2015 by JosÃ©phine De Ruyck for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)BRUSSELS – In 2014, patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) reached an all-time high, as announced by EPO President Benoît Battistelli last week at the traditional Annual Results Press Conference. Among key patenting trends were figures revealing strong growth in filings from the United States and China. The conference was held at the heart of the European institutions in the Hotel Silken Berlaymont in Brussels on 26 February. Over the previous year, the EPO reached about 275,000 patent filings, a rise of 3.1 percent compared to 2013 with 266,000 applications. EPO President Benoît Battistelli – photo credit EPO “Demand for patent protection in Europe has been growing steadily, and is up for the fifth year in a row,” Battistelli said in a press release. In fact, since 2010 the number of applications filed at the EPO has increased by 40,000. While 35 percent of these filings originated from EPO members, 65 percent are from outside Europe. This is reflected in the top filing countries, in which the United States accounted for the largest share with 26 percent, followed by Japan, Germany, China and Korea, with 18 percent, 11 percent, 9 percent and 6 percent, respectively. The United States and China showed the highest increases and Battistelli noted at the press conference that China “is actually getting closer to Germany.” In contrast, filings from Japan dropped by 4.4 percent. In Europe, the leading countries were Germany, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, but, as Battistelli said, “their individual performances differed significantly.” For instance, major growth in patent filings was seen in the Netherlands (9.1 percent), United Kingdom (4.8 percent), and France (4 percent), whereas, in Switzerland (3.1 percent) and Germany (0.8 percent) fewer applications were filed. Medical technology remains the field with the highest number of applications. But biotechnology, electrical machinery and computer technology experienced the fastest growth and for the second year in a row, pharmaceuticals decreased considerably with 5.4 percent. Overall, European companies led the way in nine of the ten most active technical fields but lagged behind the American businesses on applications in computer-related technology. Among the top 10 patent-filing companies, Korean firm Samsung was again the world’s largest applicant with 2,541 requests in 2014. Europe maintained a strong presence with five firms represented. Philips advanced to second in the list, followed by Siemens. Interestingly, for the second time ever, China-based technology company Huawei entered into the EPO’s ranking. With an increase by 48.6 percent, it held the fifth position. For Georg Kreuz, Huawei’s chief intellectual property counsel, “Huawei’s role as a top patent applicant in Europe highlights our focus on innovation, as well as our strong commitment to the European business environment,” said a recent post. Fewer Patents Granted Meanwhile, in 2014, a total of 64,600 patents were granted by the EPO, which is 3 percent less than in 2013. Most of the patents went to applicants from the United States followed by those from Japan, France and Switzerland. “2014 has been a positive year,” concluded Battistelli. “Europe continues to strengthen its key role as a global hub of technology and innovation,” said the above press release. For more information, the EPO’s online annual report is available here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related JosÃ©phine De Ruyck may be reached at email@example.com."EPO Hits New Record In Patent Filings; US, China Rise" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.