Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Who's up, who's down - the EPO reveals its filing figures


Patent filings at the EPO have continued their steady upwards growth, with the Office reporting the fourth consecutive year of highest-ever patent filing figures


The EPO received 266,000 patent applications last year, up 2.8% on 2012. It granted 66, 700 European patents, which was 1.6% more than in 2012 and the highest number ever.

Applicants from the EPO’s 38 member states made up just over one-third of patent filers at the Office, a figure unchanged from last year. Of non-EPO country applicants, those from Asia continue to file growing numbers of applications. Those from China were up more than 16% and those from Korea up 14% on the year before.

The figures present a mixed picture for innovation within Europe. Of the big filing nations, applications from the Netherlands soared by 17%, with figures from Denmark up 7% and Sweden up 7.5%). From a rather smaller base, filings from Portugal and Turkey grew by around one-third, from the Czech Republic by one-quarter and from Ireland by almost 10%.

Filings from Belgium, Germany, the UK, Italy, Switzerland and Spain fell in 2013, however, with falls ranging from 7.4% (Belgium) to 1% (Spain).

With 2,883 applicants, Samsung easily beat its nearest patent filing rival (Siemens, with 1,974 applications) into second place. Philips, LG and BASF took the next three spots.

In nine of the 10 top technical fields, applicants from Europe filed the greatest numbers of applications with the EPO, which the Office said reflected Europe’s “balanced and wide-ranging patent portfolio”. European companies took over the top spot from US applicants in the field of medical technology, while the computing category was dominated by the US, which filed more than one-third of applications. Japan was strong in electrical machinery (with 25% of the EPO’s applications) and transport (22%), but China led in digital communication (15%).

The full data is contained in the EPO's Annual Report.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has hired former Anand & Anand partner Swati Sharma and hopes to compete with specialist IP firms
Rapporteur-Judge András Kupecz ruled that education and training weren’t legitimate reasons for a member of the public to access documents
Searches for comparison prior art will be a little easier, but practitioners will have to put more thought into claim construction and design patent titles
The Helsinki local division rejected AIM Sport’s request for a preliminary injunction in a dispute with rival Supponor
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
The FTC’s plans to scrutinise improperly listed Orange Book patents could make these listings more important in litigation, but firms should be looking at this anyway
Counsel at Debevoise & Plimpton explain how they helped food delivery business Grubhub avoid a preliminary injunction at the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
European lawyers tell Managing IP how the legal market is reacting to the first few months of the UPC and why cases are set to take off
The ban could be extended or cancelled, depending on whether Judge Pauline Newman cooperates with an investigation, the Judicial Council of the Federal Circuit stated
Sources say some China-based lawyers are prepared to take large pay cuts to join stable practices, but most firms are sceptical about new hires