EPO trends in patenting 2016

The European Patent Office (EPO) has published statistical data on patent trends in the EPO in 2016.

The data show that the number of European patent applications was likely to the previous year, reaching 159,353 patent applications.

Almost half of the applications come from European countries. Of the other countries, the United States, Japan, China and Korea stand out. The latter two have considerably increased their applications.

As for the technological fields, medical technology remains the field with the highest number of patent applications, followed by digital communication and computer science. However, the greatest growth of the 10 most important fields occurred in the electrical machinery / equipment / energy, followed by transportation and IT.

Another important fact: in 2016, due to the internal measures taken to improve its productivity, EPO has granted 40% more European patents compared to the previous year, a record in the history of the EPO.

Source: EPO

In relation to Spain

Patent applications of Spanish origin in the EPO grow for the second consecutive year, 2.6% over the previous year. With this increase, Spain is among the fastest growing European countries. Among the leading economies in Europe, only Belgium and Italy recorded higher growth.

The field of transport currently leads the number of european patent applications of Spanish origin. Among the ten most important technological fields in the EPO, the Spanish origin applications that registered the greatest increase in EPO were electrical machinery, equipment, energy (+ 46%), followed by civil engineering (+ 37.7% ) and mechanical tools (+ 29.4%).

The Basque Country, third region filing European Patent applications in 2016, behind Catalonia and Madrid, in Spain

Catalonia leads the ranking of patent applications among Spanish regions with a share of 35.1% (6.6% more compared to the previous year), followed by Madrid with a share of 20.6% (3% less than the previous year) and the Basque Country with a share of 13.4% (with a slight growth compared to the previous year).

More information

Spanish Patent and Trademark Office

European Patent Office




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