The EPO surveys a sample of its applicants annually to obtain information on the numbers of patent applications that they envisage filing in the future.
Please find here the report of the most recent completed survey. Summary documents are also available in French and German.
Please check the archive for reports on older surveys.
This year the survey field investigation takes place from May to September 2016. Ipsos is in charge of the administration of the survey which, nevertheless, remains under the supervision of the Office.
In case you are approached by Ipsos with a request to participate in the survey, it will be greatly appreciated if you can please agree to do so. The documents that will be provided to you are accompanied by an invitation letter from the EPO. Your filled-in questionnaire can be sent to us by facsimile (fax) to the number 0049 89 2399 1333, or by e-mail to email@example.com. If on the other hand you prefer not to disclose your answers directly to the EPO, or if you do not wish to participate in this survey, please inform Ipsos in their next call. It should be stressed that the information you provide will be treated as confidential and for research purposes only.
This notice confirms the legitimacy of the survey. For further confirmation from the Office itself please write to Mr. George Lazaridis. The report of the survey will be published at this site in early 2017.
The EPO carries out this applicant survey in order to
Once a year
Applicants are surveyed with the main objective to predict the numbers of patent filings for the current year and for the two following years. The EPO uses the predictions as one of the ways of allocating resources in order to ensure a high service level when processing future patent filings.
Generally, applicants are selected in two groups: a Biggest group (around 400) and a Random group (around 2000). Many of the biggest applicants appear in both groups. Questionnaires are sent out in spring each year, with interviews being completed by early September at the latest. The questionnaire contains a matrix of questions on patent filings broken down by first and subsequent filings, not only at the EPO but also in other main worldwide patent systems.
For more information on how the forecasts are constructed, please see the detailed methodology page.