The EPO granted 65 687 patents in 2012, the highest number in its history, and 5.8% more than in 2011. Most patents went to US companies, followed by applicants from Germany, Japan, France and Switzerland. Japan and the US accounted for much of the growth, and their share of total granted patents increased. As the number of grants to European companies remained virtually stable, their share fell slightly below 50% of the total. The number of patents granted to Korean and Chinese companies was still very low, but showed rapid growth.
1 Analysis based on granted patents in 2012. Patents have been allocated to the country of residence of the first named patentee