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2012 - A Record Year For The European Patent Office: UK Patent Filings Continue To Grow Despite Economic Downturn

BRUSSELS, March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  • EPO announces record number of patent filings
  • European firms lead on eight of top ten technology fields
  • UK No. 4 in patent filings among European countries, No. 8 globally
  • 7.1% of all European patent filings coming from the UK
  • Rolls-Royce, Unilever, BAE Systems top three in the UK
  • Strongest growth in patent filings comes from Asia
  • Samsung takes No. 1 spot among applicants
  • Benoît Battistelli: "European companies are innovating their way out of the crisis"

Europe's innovative powers continue to grow: in 2012, the number of patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) originating from the 38 EPO member states reached a new peak, beating the previous record set in 2008.

In the face of European economic uncertainty, UK companies continue to invest in their R&D and innovation efforts. In 2012, the UK filed 6.695 patents with the EPO, a 3.3% growth on 2011 figures. The UK now ranks as Europe's fourth largest patent filer with a 7.1% share, and eighth globally at 2.6% of the total.

"The growth of filings from European businesses is a clear indication that industry here has opted to innovate its way out of the economic crisis", EPO President Benoît Battistelli said today, as he presented the EPO's 2012 annual results in Brussels. "The patent filings of today are shaping the innovations of tomorrow. These results confirm that Europe is not only a prime location for R&D activities but also valued as a stronghold of innovation by both technology generating and exporting companies."

In total the EPO received 257.744 patent filings, 5.2% more than 2011 (244.934) and sets a new record for the EPO. Filings from Europe grew by 2.3% while the steepest growth rates came from China (+11.1%), Korea (9.3%) and Japan (+9.1%).

Rolls-Royce, Unilever, BAE Systems top three patent applicants in the UK  

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