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. 

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