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Patent filings grew for the fifth year in a row to reach 274 174 in 2014. This was an increase of 3.1% over 2013, and the highest number ever. In terms of patent filing volumes, European companies held their ground. In 2014 roughly a third of the filings came from the EPO member states and two-thirds from outside Europe.
The top five countries were again the US, Japan, Germany, China and South Korea.
Looking at growth rates, patent filings from European countries rose slightly, with the performance of individual countries varying greatly. Among the large economies, China showed the biggest increase (with +18%), followed by the US, which was up nearly +7%, and Korea +2%.
1 Direct European filings under the EPC and International filings under the PCT