European patents hit record numbers in 2014

Today, the European Patent Office (EPO) released 2014 figures for patents filed in the region, and the sheer amount of patents filed suggest how important patent wars have become in companies’ efforts to protect their intellectual property from competitors.

In 2014, Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, filed 2,541 applications. Philips advanced to second in the list, followed by Siemens, who is third.

Overall, the number of patents filed in Europe grew by 3.1 per cent in 2014, with more than 274,000 filings, a record number according to the EPO.

Among the EPO member states, the Netherlands, France and the UK showed significant growth, some countries like Germany and Sweden remained stable, while filings from countries such as Finland, Switzerland and Spain declined.

A total of 64 600 patents were granted by the EPO in 2014.

“Demand for patent protection in Europe has been growing steadily, and is up for the fifth year in a row,” said EPO president Benoȋt Battistelli in a statement. “Europe continues to strengthen its key role as a global hub of technology and innovation for a growing number of companies from around the world. The rise in patent filings originating from Europe underlines the importance of patent-intensive industries as a solid base for the European knowledge economy: They foster Europe’s competitiveness, economic strength and employment.”

The volume of applications at the EPO grew most strongly in 2014 in the fields of Biotechnology (+12.1 per cent), Electrical Machinery (+8 per cent), Computer Technology (7.8 per cent), Digital Communication and Measurement (+6.6 per cent each).