Blog

Achievements and trends in 2015

03 March 2016 - No comments »

EPO President Benoît BattistelliEarlier today I was in Brussels for the EPO’s Annual Results press conference. In front of a packed audience, I had the opportunity to speak about the significant recent trends in patent applications, as well as to review the remarkable achievements that the EPO has made over the course of the last year.

The results of our Annual Report, released today, show that in 2015, there has been a rise in both filings (+1.6%) and applications (+4.8%) compared to 2014. These figures are yet another confirmation of a trend of positive growth that has been witnessed now for the sixth year in a row and confirms once more sustained interest in patent protection in Europe. Along with increasing applications, the EPO has also granted and published 6% more patents than the previous year; we registered a total of 68,400, while simultaneously continuing our unwavering commitment to quality, which includes end-to-end ISO 9001 certification.

The data also highlights there have been some extremely positive developments for Europe. Almost half of the applications (47%) came from European countries and included substantial increases in applications from countries such as Italy, with 9%. This trend is also echoed by countries with traditionally lower numbers of applications, such as the Czech Republic (+27.5%) and Portugal (+21.2%).

While the other 53% of our applications came from non-European member states, it is important to note that, overall, the balance of patent applications between Europe and the rest of the world remains extremely positive. Based on data from the IP5 offices, there are still more patents being exported from Europe to the rest of the world, indicating that Europe remains a hub for innovation and research. This is further supported by the fact that nine out of the top ten ‘most innovative’ countries (i.e. number of patent applications per million inhabitants) are from Europe.

A full breakdown of our applications is available here and I would encourage all those interested to view for themselves a wide variety of useful statistics. They include, among others, our top applicant companies, the top applicant countries globally and the leading fields of technology, which is once again topped by Medical Technologies (+11%).

The overall rising number of filings and applications in this year’s annual report is just one challenge of the modern international IP system that the EPO has had to face – and manage. After a series of comprehensive reforms, I am delighted that the Office’s internal results have showed we are doing so successfully. With a remarkable 14% increase in production, as well as sustained progress in improving timeliness, the reforms are having a positive effect – for the good of the user, the Office and the staff. They support a business-friendly policy which ensures costs are being successfully controlled and that no matter what trends dominate our annual statistics, the EPO continues to deliver an efficient, world class service.

Benoît Battistelli

President

  • Share this post:

Older posts

Reinforcing partnerships with Latin America


For the EPO, Latin America and its emerging economies have been important partners. We have long enjoyed bilateral cooperation with countries such as Brazil and Mexico and with whom we have been able to work on patent administration and information initiatives. It is for that reason that I was in Latin America last week, to […]

2015: A year of substantial progress


For the sixth year in a row, we have witnessed a growth in the demand for the EPO’s services in terms of both filings (around +1%) and applications for patents (+5%). These figures for 2015 are preliminary and we look forward to  publishing more detailed figures at the beginning of March. Against this backdrop of […]

Advances in Quality


At the EPO, we take great pride in administering high quality patents through the provision of equally high quality services. In short, quality is an essential pillar on which the EPO has built its reputation and for which we are renowned. For many years we have been guided by a roadmap and robust policy in […]

Climate change mitigation and the role of patents


With COP 21 underway in Paris, negotiators from over 190 countries are seeking to bolster global efforts to mitigate climate change. Scientists have been clear that unless emissions are reduced, there could be catastrophic consequences for the earth’s environment and population. While many courses of action are being discussed, it is the increasing use of […]

EPO-SIPO cooperation: Recent milestones and future hopes


As those of you following developments at the EPO will be aware, 2015 is a very special year for our Office and the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO). It is the thirtieth anniversary of bilateral cooperation between our organisations. In Europe, we marked this occasion with a successful special […]

EPOPIC 2015 and the value of patent information


Recently, I was in Copenhagen to speak at the EPO’s Patent Information Conference (EPOPIC 2015). It was the 25th event of its kind and attendance was impressive, bringing together over 400 participants from approximately 45 countries. EPOPIC is the largest patent information conference in Europe and feedback from delegates every year reveals an appreciation for […]

A successful start for PCT Direct


At the EPO, we are committed to the ongoing improvement of our services. Together with increasing efficiency and production, we are continuously looking for new ways in which to save applicants both time and money in the patent granting process. Last year, in November 2014, the EPO launched an optional procedure that would significantly shorten […]

Celebrating thirty years of EPO-SIPO bilateral relations


This is a special year for the EPO and SIPO. 2015 marks the thirtieth anniversary of bilateral cooperation between our offices. The productive relationship that now exists between the patent-granting authorities of Europe and China is the result of the long term vision that was initiated by our offices’ predecessors over three decades ago. On […]

The global relations of a European office


Last week I was in Geneva for the Fifty-Fifth Series of Meetings of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Assemblies. It has been a hugely productive few days. A packed agenda of meetings bore testament to the truly international nature of the patent system. From the very outset and initial intellectual property agreements, the patent […]