Posted on Friday 20 April 2018 by Cruickshank Intellectual Property

2017 saw a record year of growth concerning patent applications filed with The European Patent Office (EPO). Receiving close to 166,000 patent applications , this was an increase of 3.9% from last year and a record all-time high. Such figures, released last week, demonstrate a continuous increase from companies in understanding the importance of protecting their Intellectual Property via patents.

Along with an increase in patent applications, the publication of granted EU patents grew by 10.1% from the previous year to nearly 106,000. The five most active countries for patent applications during 2017 were the US, Germany, Japan, France and China. Medical technology continued as the field with the largest amount of patent applications, followed by digital communication and computer technology. In relation to companies who ranked first for filing with the EPO, Chinese communications technology company Huawei took the number one spot for the first time, closely followed by Siemens, LG, Samsung and Qualcomm.

While large enterprises make up 67% of those filing patent applications, SMEs and individual inventors make up 24%, followed by Universities with 7%. Speaking about the release of the report, EPO President Benoit Battistelli referred to it as a ‘positive year for Europe’ in terms of technology innovation, stating:

            “The growing demand for European patents confirms Europe’s attractiveness as a leading technology market. European companies too, filed more patents than ever before – evidence of their strength in innovation, and of their confidence in our services.”

These encouraging figures for 2017 shine a positive light on the world of intellectual property and patent protection. While large companies hold many of the patent applications, Intellectual Property rights are an essential component for any business strategy, regardless of size or industry.

Our team here at Cruickshank is always on hand to offer advice when it comes to your Intellectual Property, including patent applications. If you would like to speak with one of our experts, please contact us and we will be happy to arrange a meeting. 


See Related:

Continued Growth Reported for International Patent Applications

2016 Figures Show Huge Growth for IP Applications

New Report Focuses on Importance of IP Protection for the SME Sector