EPO grants record number of European patents in 2016

Earlier this month, The European Patent Organization released their Annual Report. The results concluded that granted patents were up by 40% to reach 96,000 in 2016 as a result of productivity and efficiency measures. Other key metrics included in the report:

  • Patent application numbers at the EPO are on par with the high level of last year
  • Leading countries driving this growth were the United States, Japan, France & Switzerland
  • Growth in patent applications from China and South Korea continues
  • EPO’s production and quality hit new levels
  • Small entities represented 34% of EPO applicants, up 3 points

The EPO also recorded an unprecedented level of patent filings in 2016, reaching over 296,000, a rise of 6.2%. The figure is an indicator of the growing demand for patent protection from businesses worldwide.

EPO President Battistelli noted in his statement, “The 2016 results confirm Europe’s attractiveness as a leading global marketplace for innovation. In a rapidly changing political and economic landscape, companies from around the world have kept up their demand for patent protection in Europe. While we see impressive growth in applications from Asia, European companies maintain their role as drivers of innovation and economic growth in their home market, and are proving their resilience in the face of unsettled economic conditions.

He continued, “we have responded to this sustained strong demand for patents by significantly increasing our performance yet again, whilst maintaining best quality standards. These results clearly show that the reforms introduced at the EPO in the past five years are effective and reflect the need of the European economy.”

Further findings from the report noted that Philips filed the most patent applications at the EPO in 2016 for the second year in a row. Huawei was the new number 2, followed by Samsung, LG and United Technologies respectively. The top 10 consisted of four companies from Europe, three in the United States, two from South Korea and one from China.

To download the complete findings of the report, click here. 


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