Record numbers of European patent filings in 2012

European patent filings reached record highs in 2012. Last year the European Patent Office (EPO) received around 258,600 applications – 5.7 % more than in the previous year. The number of patents granted also increased over the same period to 65,700.

Patent applications received from Europe remain stable at a high level, while the US has strengthened its world-leading position. The steepest growth area is Asia. Most filings come from the US (24.7 %) followed by Japan (19.9 %), Germany (13.4 %), China (7.3 %) and Korea (5.5 %). The majority of filings, 63%, originated as in the previous year from non-European countries, with the remaining filings coming from the 38 EPO member states.
“This new peak in European patent filings for the third consecutive year shows that companies from Europe and around the world are continuing to seek protection for their inventions, and that Europe remains an attractive market for new technologies. This growth is part of a consistent, long-term trend, and is clear evidence of the confidence of industry in the value of European patents,” says EPO President, Benoît Battistelli.

Please note that the analysis is based on the European patent filings (Direct European filings under the EPC and international filings under the PCT).