Highlights from 2014 included improving access to Asian patent information while consolidating patent data from around the world. Preparation for the unitary patent was also in full swing with significant progress made in the area. Many countries ratified the unitary patent agreement and progress was made in ironing out the practicality of the system.
PCT filings increased over the past five years and in 2014 the total number of filings at the EPO included around 60,000 direct European filings and 214,000 international filings under the PCT (274,174 total, up 3.1% from the previous year).
Roughly 1/3 of the total filings in 2014 came from the EPO member states and 2/3 came from outside of Europe. Once again, the top 5 countries were the United States, Japan, Germany, China and South Korea. China showed the largest increase (+18%), followed by the United States (+7%) and South Korea (+2%).
The top list of applicants were as follows: 1) Samsung – 2,541 applications, 2) Philips – 2,317 applications, 3) Siemens – 2,133 applications, 4) LG – 1,638 applications and 5) Huawei – 1,600 applications. Among the top ten filers, five came from Europe, three from Asia and 2 from the United States. The sectors were primarily from electronics and IT.