The European Patent Office says 2012 was a record year, with more patent filings and grants than ever before.
Last year, the EPO received 257,744 patent filings from around the world: a 5.2% increase from the previous year. Almost a quarter (24.6%) of filings came from the USA, followed by Japan (20.1%), Germany (13.3%), China (7.3%), and Korea (5.6%). The UK submitted 2.6% of all EPO patent filings.
Medical technology had the most applications, although the company with the largest number of applications (2,289 during 2012) was mobile telecoms and consumer electronics giant Samsung. In second place was Siemens, followed by BASF, GE, LG, Bosch, Qualcomm, Mitsubishi, Ericsson and ZTE.
Benoît Battistelli, president of the EPO, said “The growth of filings from European businesses is a clear indication that industry here has opted to innovate its way out of the economic crisis. The patent filings of today are shaping the innovations of tomorrow. These results confirm that Europe is not only a prime location for R&D activities but also valued as a stronghold of innovation by both technology generating and exporting companies.”
The EPO offers a centralised patent granting procedure that enables inventors to obtain patent protection across its 38 member states.