EPO Patent Filings Still Climbing: US Top Source Overall, Swiss Top Per Capita; China Growth Slows 12/03/2019 by William New, 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)The European Patent Office continued its seemingly inexorable rise in patent applications, with almost all of its top 20 source countries showing growth in 2018, according to statistics from its annual report. Nearly half of applications came from Europe, while the United States filed a record number and accounted for one-quarter of all applications, with a 2.7 percent increase over the previous year. Other countries saw significantly higher increases, though China’s rate of increase slowed, and Switzerland far and away filed the most patent applications per capita. Another notable statistic: the number of European patents granted rose 21 percent. More information about the EPO Annual Report for 2018 is available here. Here are some highlights: Over 174,000 applications (+4.6 percent) were filed at the EPO in 2018 47 percent of applications came from the 38 EPO member states European companies accounted for most growth in applications (3.8 percent, their highest growth since 2010) but increases were recorded for all regions. All but two of top 20 European filing countries saw increases (except France and Finland) US remained top country of origin, ahead of Germany and Japan Lowest growth in applications in five years from China but still an 8.8 percent increase Companies from China, Japan and Korea combined rose moderately to 22.6 percent of total applications (from 22.1 percent) European firm Siemens reclaimed applicant top spot, followed by Huawei and Samsung European patents granted up by 21% (to nearly 128,000) Medical technology remained top technical field, again followed by digital communication and computer technology, but fastest growth was in life sciences Large companies accounted for 71 percent of applications, universities 9 percent, and small and medium-sized businesses 20 percent. Notable increases were also seen from countries with lower patent application volumes. Some seeing continuing increases year-on-year were: Singapore (+20.2%), Australia (+16.3%), Russian Federation (+13.4%), Taiwan (+8.9%), Canada (+5.5%) and Israel (+4.9%). EPO President António Campinos said in a statement: “The EPO’s Annual Report shows that demand for patent protection in Europe is high, on the rise, and coming from all major industrial regions. In 2018 Europe has again proved itself to be an extremely attractive technology market for European and international businesses.” Details on European Filing Activity: From the EPO press release: “Applications from Germany – Europe’s top filing country – increased significantly (+4.7%) to reach 26 734 (approx. 1 200 more than in 2017), their fastest growth since 2010. This was mainly due to an upward trend in the automotive sector and related areas, such as sensors and other measuring devices. Amongst the other countries with high levels of filing activity, applications from Switzerland (+7.8%), the UK (+7.8%), and Sweden (+7.1%) continued to rise solidly, while the Netherlands (+1.4%) and Italy (+0.9%) reached levels similar to the previous year. Declines were reported, however, for France (-2.8%) and Finland (-3.8%): applications from most of France’s ten leading technical fields, especially biotechnology, medical technology and ICT, were down, while applications from Finland fell mostly in digital communication, computers and telecommunications.” “Of the European economies with mid-range patenting volumes, Denmark (up +14.4% following growth of +12.6% in 2017), Belgium (+9.7%), Spain (+6.3%), and Austria (+3.8%) registered the highest growth, continuing their overall upward trends of the previous years.” “There was also very strong growth in European patent applications from a number of countries with smaller patenting volumes. For instance, applications from Ireland grew by 21.4%, largely attributable to greater patenting activity in pharmaceuticals and medical technology, as well as in areas related to smart vehicle technology. Filings from Portugal rose by 46.7% due to large increases in the fields of transport and civil engineering. Applications from Poland (+19.7%), the Czech Republic (+17.5%), and Norway (+14.9%) also grew significantly.” And in another way of looking at the data, the US may have had the most total applications, but it was 14th in per capita filings. Switzerland was far and away the leader, with 956 applications per capita, followed in distant second by the Netherlands, with 416. Image Credits: EPO 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 William New may be reached at email@example.com."EPO Patent Filings Still Climbing: US Top Source Overall, Swiss Top Per Capita; China Growth Slows" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.