Rapport annuel 2018

European patent applications

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Total applications

This graph shows the geographic origin of the European patent applications1 filed with the EPO. The geographic origin of the file is determined by the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle2).

5 years
10 years
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications (Direct) and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period (PCT regional).
2 This is determined by the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
3 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.

European patent applications per country of origin

This graph shows the geographic origin of the European patent applications1 determined by the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle2).


Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 This is determined by the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle).
3 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.
Top technical fields2

This page shows the number of European patent applications1 filed with the EPO for the ten technology fields2 with the largest number of applications in 2018. In 2018, these top ten fields represented 53% of the total number of European applications filed. Each technology field has its own page providing an analysis of the geographic origin of the files. The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle3). The pages also rank the largest applicants4 in each field.

Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
3 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
4 This is the ranking in each technology field of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2018 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO in each technology field. It includes direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
Electrical machinery, apparatus, energy

This field encompasses lighting devices, power and electric energy supply systems, basic electric elements and techniques. Some specific examples of technologies in this field are power cables, magnets, relays and x-rays techniques.

Total applications
Top applicants in 20184
  • LG 471
  • SIEMENS 458
  • PHILIPS LIGHTING 340
  • ABB 304
  • VALEO 177
2018
1. LG 471
2. SIEMENS 458
3. PHILIPS LIGHTING 340
4. ABB 304
5. VALEO 177
6. GENERAL ELECTRIC 166
7. ROBERT BOSCH 159
8. SAMSUNG 153
9. TE CONNECTIVITY 129
10. PANASONIC 127
Others 8 238
Total applications in this field 10 722
Leading countries in 20183
Leading countries in 2018

2018 vs. 2017
Germany 2 025 +4.8%
France 672 -3.7%
Netherlands 573 -5.6%
Switzerland 556 +13.0%
United Kingdom 271 +3.8%
Other EPO states5 1 147 +6.0%
United States 1 585 -4.6%
Japan 1 955 +7.1%
China, People's Republic of 672 +8.4%
Korea, Republic of 805 +22.2%
Others 461 +15.5%
Total applications in this field 10 722
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
3 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
4 This is the ranking in each technology field of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2018 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO in each technology field. It includes direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
5 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.
Medical technology

The field of Medical technology covers medical instruments for diagnosis, treatment of diseases and surgery. Technologies included in this field are, for example, vaccination instruments, prostheses, surgical robots, computed tomography and pacemakers.

Total applications
Top applicants in 20184
  • JOHNSON & JOHNSON 700
  • ROYAL PHILIPS 688
  • MEDTRONIC 549
  • BOSTON SCIENTIFIC 272
  • OLYMPUS 190
2018
1. JOHNSON & JOHNSON 700
2. ROYAL PHILIPS 688
3. MEDTRONIC 549
4. BOSTON SCIENTIFIC 272
5. OLYMPUS 190
6. SANOFI 167
7. BECTON DICKINSON 161
8. PROCTER & GAMBLE 135
9. FRESENIUS 130
10. SAMSUNG 126
Others 10 677
Total applications in this field 13 795
Leading countries in 20183
Leading countries in 2018

2018 vs. 2017
Germany 1 336 +0.2%
Netherlands 841 +2.1%
Switzerland 753 +24.5%
France 545 -10.2%
United Kingdom 417 +11.5%
Other EPO states5 1 440 -4.0%
United States 5 175 +7.3%
Japan 1 184 -5.9%
China, People's Republic of 305 +32.0%
Korea, Republic of 338 +14.6%
Others 1 461 +14.0%
Total applications in this field 13 795
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
3 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
4 This is the ranking in each technology field of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2018 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO in each technology field. It includes direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
5 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.
Digital communication

This field encompasses basic electronic circuitry and electronic communication. The field includes, for example, amplifiers, decoders and telegraphic communication.

Total applications
Top applicants in 20184
  • HUAWEI 1 535
  • ERICSSON 1 117
  • QUALCOMM 785
  • SAMSUNG 457
  • SONY 452
2018
1. HUAWEI 1 535
2. ERICSSON 1 117
3. QUALCOMM 785
4. SAMSUNG 457
5. SONY 452
6. NOKIA 387
7. LG 368
8. INTEL 301
9. ZTE 249
10. NTT 241
Others 6 048
Total applications in this field 11 940
Leading countries in 20183
Leading countries in 2018

2018 vs. 2017
Sweden 1 192 +0.3%
Germany 665 +7.8%
France 468 -11.5%
Finland 348 -18.9%
United Kingdom 223 +9.9%
Other EPO states5 566 -3.4%
United States 3 152 -7.5%
Japan 1 379 +9.2%
China, People's Republic of 2 356 +8.4%
Korea, Republic of 950 +11.6%
Others 641 +5.6%
Total applications in this field 11 940
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
3 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
4 This is the ranking in each technology field of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2017. It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO in each technology field. It includes direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
5 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.
Computer technology

This field encompasses computing, calculating and counting devices. It includes, for example, digital computers and data processing systems.

Total applications
Top applicants in 20184
  • MICROSOFT 595
  • SAMSUNG 559
  • INTEL 442
  • ALPHABET 390
  • HUAWEI 319
2018
1. MICROSOFT 595
2. SAMSUNG 559
3. INTEL 442
4. ALPHABET 390
5. HUAWEI 319
6. SIEMENS 312
7. QUALCOMM 297
8. ROYAL PHILIPS 240
9. SONY 203
10. OPPO6 155
Others 8 206
Total applications in this field 11 718
Leading countries in 20183
Leading countries in 2018

2018 vs. 2017
Germany 1 015 +18.6%
France 571 -8.8%
Netherlands 417 -7.5%
United Kingdom 386 +31.3%
Sweden 212 +36.8%
Other EPO states5 819 +0.2%
United States 4 399 -2.2%
Japan 1 155 -6.5%
China, People's Republic of 1 149 +4.1%
Korea, Republic of 756 +19.8%
Others 839 +23.6%
Total applications in this field 11 718
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
3 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
4 This is the ranking in each technology field of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2018 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO in each technology field. It includes direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
5 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.
6 Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications.
Transport

This field encompasses vehicles, and more specifically vehicle tyres, wheels, windows and roofs, railway systems.

Total applications
Top applicants in 20184
  • AIRBUS 253
  • UNITED TECHNOLOGIES 214
  • CONTINENTAL 207
  • VALEO 198
  • SIEMENS 154
2018
1. AIRBUS 253
2. UNITED TECHNOLOGIES 214
3. CONTINENTAL 207
4. VALEO 198
5. SIEMENS 154
6. PSA 148
7. MICHELIN 139
8. ROBERT BOSCH 137
9. BRIDGESTONE 130
10. TOYOTA MOTOR 124
Others 7 335
Total applications in this field 9 039
Leading countries in 20183
Leading countries in 2018

2018 vs. 2017
Germany 2 145 +15.0%
France 1 070 +2.6%
Italy 394 +21.2%
United Kingdom 329 +3.8%
Sweden 294 +17.1%
Other EPO states5 1 117 -6.2%
United States 1 435 +1.3%
Japan 1 381 -9.6%
China, People's Republic of 259 +3.2%
Korea, Republic of 236 +15.7%
Others 379 +10.2%
Total applications in this field 9 039
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
3 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
4 This is the ranking in each technology field of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2018 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO in each technology field. It includes direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
5 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.
Measurement

This field encompasses horology, devices for measuring position and displacement, more specifically clocks and watches, navigation systems, volume, liquid and sound measuring devices.

Total applications
Top applicants in 20184
  • SIEMENS 206
  • ROYAL PHILIPS 150
  • ROBERT BOSCH 148
  • HONEYWELL 113
  • GENERAL ELECTRIC 110
2018
1. SIEMENS 206
2. ROYAL PHILIPS 150
3. ROBERT BOSCH 148
4. HONEYWELL 113
5. GENERAL ELECTRIC 110
6. HITACHI 102
7. CEA6 83
8. CONTINENTAL 67
8. UNITED TECHNOLOGIES 67
10. HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE 65
Others 7 633
Total applications in this field 8 744
Leading countries in 20183
Leading countries in 2018

2018 vs. 2017
Germany 1 663 +15.1%
Switzerland 773 +12.2%
France 537 -2.0%
Netherlands 413 -1.4%
United Kingdom 310 -3.7%
Other EPO states5 912 +0.2%
United States 1 934 +1.9%
Japan 1 277 +25.9%
China, People's Republic of 299 +28.3%
Korea, Republic of 186 +31.0%
Others 440 +16.1%
Total applications in this field 8 744
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
3 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
4 This is the ranking in each technology field of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2018 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO in each technology field. It includes direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
5 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.
6 Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives.
Organic fine chemistry

This field encompasses organic pure substances, combinatorial chemistry, and preparations for medical, dental and hygiene uses. It includes, for example, steroids, sugars, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food ingredients.

Total applications
Top applicants in 20184
  • BAYER 227
  • BASF 219
  • UNILEVER 172
  • L'OREAL 127
  • HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE 109
2018
1. BAYER 227
2. BASF 219
3. UNILEVER 172
4. L'OREAL 127
5. HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE 109
6. SYNGENTA 91
7. MERCK 89
8. LG 83
9. JOHNSON & JOHNSON 82
10. PROCTER & GAMBLE 81
Others 4 953
Total applications in this field 6 233
Leading countries in 20183
Leading countries in 2018

2018 vs. 2017
Germany 1 117 -13.8%
Switzerland 476 +0.6%
France 427 -3.8%
United Kingdom 359 +15.8%
Netherlands 328 -2.1%
Other EPO states5 590 -12.2%
United States 1 553 -7.4%
Japan 509 -8.3%
China, People's Republic of 288 +32.1%
Korea, Republic of 257 +33.9%
Others 329 +12.7%
Total applications in this field 6 233
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
3 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
4 This is the ranking in each technology field of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2018 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO in each technology field. It includes direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
5 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.
Engines, pumps, turbines

This field encompasses combustion engines, engines and pumps for liquids, eolic energy, nuclear physics and engineering. It covers, for example, gas-turbine plants, pumps and pistons, fusion and nuclear reactors, x-ray microscopes and wind motors.

Total applications
Top applicants in 2016
  • UNITED TECHNOLOGIES 956
  • GENERAL ELECTRIC 700
  • SIEMENS 357
  • ROLLS-ROYCE 207
  • TOYOTA MOTOR 162
2016
1. UNITED TECHNOLOGIES 956
2. GENERAL ELECTRIC 700
3. SIEMENS 357
4. ROLLS-ROYCE 207
5. TOYOTA MOTOR 162
6. SAFRAN 160
7. ROBERT BOSCH 144
8. MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES 130
9. CONTINENTAL 86
10. MAHLE 63
Others 3 336
Total applications in this field 6 301
Leading countries in 20183
Leading countries in 2018

2017 vs. 2016
Germany 1 278 -11.4%
France 391 +21.1%
Switzerland 146 -36.8%
Netherlands 42 -30.0%
United Kingdom 229 -16.7%
other EPO member states 746 +9.2%
United States 2 229 +8.0%
Japan 890 -4.2%
China, People’s Republic of 84 +104.9%
Korea, Republic of 80 -9.1%
Others 186 -6.1%
Total applications in this field 6 301
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
3 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
4 This is the ranking in each technology field of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2018 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO in each technology field. It includes direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
5 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.
Pharmaceuticals

This field encompasses preparations for medical, dental or hygiene purposes, for example emulsions, dragees and amalgams.

Total applications
Top applicants in 20184
  • INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE (INSERM) 125
  • NOVARTIS 88
  • MERCK & CO 74
  • HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE 58
  • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 57
2018
1. INSERM6 125
2. NOVARTIS 88
3. MERCK & CO 74
4. HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE 58
5. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA 57
6. GLAXOSMITHKLINE 56
7. BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM 54
8. BAYER 53
9. JOHNSON & JOHNSON 51
10. SANOFI 48
Others 6 777
Total applications in this field 7 441
Leading countries in 20183
Leading countries in 2018

2018 vs. 2017
Germany 584 -4.3%
France 475 +6.7%
Switzerland 451 +29.6%
United Kingdom 278 +20.3%
Netherlands 210 +11.1%
Other EPO states5 1 158 +21.8%
United States 2 797 +20.8%
Japan 423 -6.8%
China, People’s Republic of 227 +7.1%
Korea, Republic of 194 +14.1%
Others 644 +5.9%
Total applications in this field 7 441
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
3 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
4 This is the ranking in each technology field of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2018 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO in each technology field. It includes direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
5 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.
6 Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale.
Biotechnology

This field encompasses peptides, microbiology and genetic engineering. Included in the field are, for example, genetically modified organisms, brewing of beers, preparation of wine and vinegar.

Total applications
Top applicants in 20184
  • HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE 242
  • DSM 183
  • NOVOZYMES 102
  • INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA SANTE ET DE LA RECHERCHE MEDICALE (INSERM) 70
  • SANOFI 67
2018
1. HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE 242
2. DSM 183
3. NOVOZYMES 102
4. INSERM6 70
5. SANOFI 67
6. DU PONT 66
7. BAYER 59
8. BASF 52
9. JOHNSON & JOHNSON 46
10. NOVARTIS 44
Others 5 811
Total applications in this field 6 742
Leading countries in 20183
Leading countries in 2018

2018 vs. 2017
Germany 776 +15.1%
Switzerland 474 +11.0%
France 391 -23.9%
Netherlands 383 +23.2%
Denmark 271 -4.2%
Other EPO states5 974 +7.0%
United States 2 173 +10.1%
Japan 515 +43.1%
China, People’s Republic of 185 +62.3%
Korea, Republic of 191 +75.2%
Others 409 +21.4%
Total applications in this field 6 742
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
3 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
4 This is the ranking in each technology field of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2018 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO in each technology field. It includes direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
5 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.
6 Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale.
Other special machines

The field of “other special machines” covers machine tools for agriculture, textile, paper, food (i.e. sugar industry production), shaping of plastic, cement and clay, as well as manufacturing of 3D objects.

Total applications
Top applicants in 20184
  • DEERE & COMPANY 173
  • HP 123
  • CNH INDUSTRIAL 116
  • SABIC 81
  • AMAZONEN-WERKE 79
2018
1. DEERE & COMPANY 173
2. HP 123
3. CNH INDUSTRIAL 116
4. SABIC 81
5. AMAZONEN-WERKE 79
6. CLAAS 78
7. TETRA LAVAL 61
8. LG 56
9. CORNING 54
9. MICHELIN 54
Others 5 504
Total applications in this field 6 379
Leading countries in 20183
Leading countries in 2018

2018 vs. 2017
Germany 1 316 +7.6%
France 444 -1.3%
Netherlands 347 +4.8%
Italy 257 -2.7%
Switzerland 204 -1.0%
Other EPO states5 1 047 +18.3%
United States 1 435 +21.3%
Japan 732 -1.6%
China, People’s Republic of 98 +5.4%
Korea, Republic of 144 +73.5%
Others 355 +23.3%
Total applications in this field 6 379
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
3 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
4 This is the ranking in each technology field of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2018 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO in each technology field. It includes direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
5 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.

All technical fields

This analysis shows the number of European patent applications1 filed with the EPO in the different technology fields2.

Technical Field 2018 2017 Change
Electrical engineering Electrical machinery, apparatus, energy 10 722 10 239 4.7%
Audio-visual technology 4 171 4 142 0.7%
Telecommunications 3 819 3 687 3.6%
Digital communication 11 940 11 853 0.7%
Basic communication processes 932 1 039 -10.3%
Computer technology 11 718 11 348 3.3%
IT methods for management 2 378 2 325 2.3%
Semiconductors 2 932 2 983 -1.7%
Instruments Optics 4 057 4 013 1.1%
Measurement 8 744 7 999 9.3%
Analysis of biological materials 1 428 1 422 0.4%
Control 3 171 2 826 12.2%
Medical technology 13 795 13 134 5.0%
Chemistry Organic fine chemistry 6 233 6 464 -3.6%
Biotechnology 6 742 6 013 12.1%
Pharmaceuticals 7 441 6 534 13.9%
Macromolecular chemistry, polymers 3 953 3 654 8.2%
Food chemistry 1 735 1 619 7.2%
Basic materials chemistry 4 797 4 538 5.7%
Materials, metallurgy 3 464 3 325 4.2%
Surface technology, coating 2 706 2 467 9.7%
Micro-structural and nano-technology 161 160 0.6%
Chemical engineering 4 168 3 707 12.4%
Environmental technology 1 870 1 832 2.1%
Mechanical engineering Handling 4 747 4 318 9.9%
Machine tools 3 600 3 688 -2.4%
Engines, pumps, turbines 5 433 5 384 0.9%
Textile and paper machines 2 701 2 618 3.2%
Other special machines 6 379 5 750 10.9%
Thermal processes and apparatus 2 673 2 454 8.9%
Mechanical elements 4 356 4 317 0.9%
Transport 9 039 8 536 5.9%
Other fields Furniture, games 3 119 3 082 1.2%
Other consumer goods 4 142 3 894 6.4%
Civil engineering 4 692 4 611 1.8%
Not classified 359 619 -42.0%
Total 174 317 166 594
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.

Country profiles

This analysis reflects the number of European patent applications filed1 with the EPO in each of the top ten technology fields3 for each of the main countries of origin2.

EPO in a worldwide context

EPO states – top 5

Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications filed include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
3 The definition of the fields is based on the WIPO IPC technology concordance. The table is available at:
http://www.wipo.int/export/sites/www/ipstats/en/statistics/patents/xls/ipc_technology.xls.
4 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which includes the 28 states of the EU.

This analysis shows country ranking2 based on the ratio of number of European patent applications filed with the EPO1 per million inhabitants3. The ratio per million inhabitants is for countries with a population of at least 1 million inhabitants.

Rank Country Applications per mio inhabitants Population3
(mio inhabitants)
Applications1
1. Switzerland 955.9 8.293 7 927
2. Netherlands 416.3 17.151 7 140
3. Denmark 411.4 5.810 2 390
4. Sweden 403.3 10.041 4 050
5. Germany 332.3 80.458 26 734
6. Finland 312.1 5.537 1 728
7. Austria 260.7 8.793 2 292
8. Belgium 204.0 11.571 2 360
9. Japan 179.2 126.168 22 615
10. Israel 172.8 8.425 1 456
11. Ireland 158.0 5.068 801
12. France 153.2 67.364 10 317
13. Korea, Republic of 141.9 51.418 7 296
14. United States 132.5 329.256 43 612
15. Norway 113.5 5.372 610
16. Puerto Rico 110.8 3.295 365
17. United Kingdom 88.1 65.105 5 736
18. Singapore 87.2 5.996 523
19. Chinese Taipei 75.0 23.546 1 767
20. Italy 70.7 62.247 4 399
21. Slovenia 47.1 2.102 99
22. Canada 44.5 35.882 1 596
23. New Zealand 42.7 4.546 194
24. Australia 41.7 23.470 978
25. Cyprus 41.2 1.237 51
26. Estonia 37.0 1.244 46
27. Spain 36.0 49.331 1 776
28. Czech Republic 22.6 10.686 242
29. Portugal 21.2 10.355 220
30. Hong Kong 15.5 7.213 112
31. Poland 13.9 38.421 534
32. Lithuania 13.2 2.793 37
33. Hungary 12.2 9.826 120
34. Greece 11.2 10.762 120
35. Slovakia 9.2 5.445 50
36. Saudi Arabia 8.0 33.091 264
37. Turkey 7.0 81.257 572
38. China, People's Republic of 6.8 1.384.689 9 401
39. Latvia 6.2 1.924 12
40. Qatar 5.9 2.364 14
40. Mauritius 5.9 1.364 8
42. United Arab Emirates 5.3 9.701 51
43. Bulgaria 4.5 7.058 32
44. Uruguay 3.6 3.369 12
45. Croatia 3.3 4.270 14
46. Chile 3.1 17.925 55
47. Romania 2.2 21.457 47
48. South Africa 1.9 55.380 107
49. Kuwait 1.7 2.916 5
50. Russian Federation 1.6 142.123 229
Source: EPO.
Status: 21.1.2019.
1 European patent applications include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 The geographic origin is based on the country of residence of the first applicant listed on the application form (first-named applicant principle). In cases where several applicants are mentioned on the application form, the country of residence of the first applicant listed applies.
3 Source of population figures: U.S. Census Bureau, International Data Base.

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