Thursday, 8 March 2018
EPO Releases Annual Report on 2017 Patent Activity: Interesting Stats
The EPO has released its annual report for 2017 patenting activity. Notably, patenting and patent filings are trending up at 3.9% and 4.4% respectively. In the electrical engineering field, patenting is up in the audio visual space by 10.6% and semiconductors by 13.5%. In instruments, patenting is up in optics by 15.6% and analysis of biological materials by 12.5%. In chemistry, biotechnology is up 14.5%, but micro-structural and nanotechnology is down by 12.6%. Interestingly, US nationals as first inventor lead patent applications in the EPO with a 26% share. The EU member state inventors as a whole have more nationals as first inventor (47% total). However, Germany, the leader in the EU, has a 15% share. Japan has 13%, and China has 5%. The top three technical fields in patent applications are 1) medical technology; 2) digital communication; and 3) computer technology. The top ten applicant companies are: 1) Huawei (China); 2) Siemens (EU); 3) LG (Korea); 4) Samsung (Korea); 5) Qualcomm (US); 6) Royal Phillips (EU); 7) United Technologies (US); 8) Intel (US); 9) Robert Bosch (EU); and 10) Ericsson (EU). Sixty-nine percent of the total applicants are large entities. Twenty-four percent are SMEs/individual inventors. Seven percent were universities/public research. Interestingly, SMEs/individual inventors share is down from 28% in 2016. Universities/public research is up 1 percentage point from 2016.