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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 took place from April to September 2014. The report of the survey will be published here in spring 2015.
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.