Record for European Patents in 2016


Ευρεσιτεχνίες ευρεσιτεχνία EPO patents Patent European

Innovative businesses and other bodies filed the highest number of European patent applications last year, setting a new record, the European Patent Office's 2016 report reveals.

Record for European Patents in 2016

The European Patent Office (EPO) granted almost 95,940 patents (patents) in 2016, compared to 68,419 in 2015, recording an increase of 40.2% compared to 2015.

Most diplomas were awarded to applicants from Germany (18,728), France (7,032) and Switzerland (3,910).

Initial applications filed for new patents exceeded 296,000, an increase of 6.2% over 2015 (279,000).

Our country showed a mixed picture in 2016. On the one hand, Greece was granted 39 European patents (compared to 22 in 2015), showing an increase of 77.3%, which ranked it 23rd among the 38 EPO countries.

On the other hand, Greece recorded a 20.9% decrease in new patent applications, as 72 European patent applications were submitted, compared to 91 in 2015. Regarding the number of European patent applications filed, compared to population of a country, Greece was in 37th place (out of a total of 48 countries) with 6.7 applications per million inhabitants.

The countries with the most applications for European patents internationally were the USA, Germany, Japan, France and Switzerland, while there was again a large increase in applications from China (24.8% in 2016). Of the European countries, Belgium saw the largest increase (over 5%) in the number of applications compared to 2015.

Based on the number of European patent applications filed, in relation to a country's population, Switzerland was again in first place for 2016, with 892 applications per million inhabitants. In second and third place were the Netherlands (405) and Sweden (360), followed by Denmark (334) and Finland (331). The first non-European country was again Japan, in ninth place (166).

Most patent applications were filed in the field of Medical Technology, followed by Digital Communication and Computer Technology. The largest increase was recorded in Electrical machinery/appliances/energy (5.1%).

In 2016, European companies led nine of the ten largest technology sectors in terms of patent applications, stealing the lead from the US in the Medical Technology sector.