The number of patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) originating from the 38 EPO member states reached a new peak in 2012, beating the previous record set in 2008.
Last year, the EPO received a total of 257 744 patent filings from all over the world. This represents a 5.2% increase over 2011 (244 934) and sets a new record. The EPO also published 65 687 granted patents, 5.8% more than in 2011 (62 115).
The dynamic evolution of the electronics sector is also reflected in the list of the largest applicants at the EPO. Among the top ten firms were four European companies, four companies from Asia and two from the USA.
For the first time, however, the ranking was topped by an Asian company, Samsung, followed by Siemens and BASF. Robert Bosch (ranked 6th) and Ericsson (9th) are the two other European companies in the top ten.
China’s ZTE – broke into the top ten for the first time, advancing from 43rd to 10th position.
The EPO also published a new record of granted patents: 65 687. The lion’s share of 49.7% (2011: 52.5%) again went to European companies, whose total of 32,628 was more than the grants to US (14,605) and Chinese, Korean and Japanese firms (15,509) taken together.