Annual Review 2020

Applicants

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Top 25

This ranking shows the largest applicants1 at the EPO, indicating their country of origin2.

  • EPO states3
  • US
  • JP
  • CN
  • KR
  • 1.SAMSUNG
    3 276
  • 2.HUAWEI
    3 113
  • 3.LG
    2 909
  • 4.QUALCOMM
    1 711
  • 5.ERICSSON
    1 634
  • 6.SIEMENS
    1 625
  • 7.ROBERT BOSCH
    1 597
  • 8.SONY
    1 477
  • 9.ROYAL PHILIPS
    1 419
  • 10.BASF
    1 305
  • 11.RAYTHEON TECHNOLOGIES
    1 284
  • 12.ALPHABET
    1 117
  • 13.MICROSOFT
    1 087
  • 14.JOHNSON & JOHNSON
    1 049
  • 15.INTEL
    1 011
  • 16.NOKIA
    826
  • 17.PANASONIC
    792
  • 18.GENERAL ELECTRIC
    775
  • 19.OPPO4
    715
  • 20.HP
    699
  • 21.SIGNIFY
    691
  • 22.ABB
    678
  • 23.HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE
    656
  • 24.CONTINENTAL
    653
  • 25.MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC
    647
  • EPO states3
  • US
  • JP
  • CN
  • KR
Source: EPO.
Status: 1.2.2021.
1 This is the ranking of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2020 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO, which include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
2 Country of residence of the headquarters.
3 EPO states: the 38 member states of the European Patent Organisation, which include the 27 states of the EU.
4 Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications.

Top 50

This ranking shows the largest applicants1 at the EPO (first-named applicant principle). It indicates the total number of European applications filed with the EPO for each and the split between direct European applications (Direct) and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase (PCT regional) during the reporting period.

  • Direct
  • PCT regional2
  • 1.SAMSUNG
    3 276
  • 2.HUAWEI
    3 113
  • 3.LG
    2 909
  • 4.QUALCOMM
    1 711
  • 5.ERICSSON
    1 634
  • 6.SIEMENS
    1 625
  • 7.ROBERT BOSCH
    1 597
  • 8.SONY
    1 477
  • 9.ROYAL PHILIPS
    1 419
  • 10.BASF
    1 305
  • 11.RAYTHEON TECHNOLOGIES
    1 284
  • 12.ALPHABET
    1 117
  • 13.MICROSOFT
    1 087
  • 14.JOHNSON & JOHNSON
    1 049
  • 15.INTEL
    1 011
  • 16.NOKIA
    826
  • 17.PANASONIC
    792
  • 18.GENERAL ELECTRIC
    775
  • 19.OPPO3
    715
  • 20.HP
    699
  • 21.SIGNIFY
    691
  • 22.ABB
    678
  • 23.HOFFMANN-LA ROCHE
    656
  • 24.CONTINENTAL
    653
  • 25.MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC
    647
  • 26.MEDTRONIC
    614
  • 27.CANON
    612
  • 28.3M
    610
  • 29.XIAOMI
    603
  • 30.SIEMENS ENERGY
    584
  • 31.HITACHI
    582
  • 32.FRAUNHOFER4
    557
  • 33.BOE TECHNOLOGY
    556
  • 34.HONEYWELL
    538
  • 35.DOW CHEMICAL
    529
  • 36.UNILEVER
    528
  • 37.CEA5
    520
  • 37.BOEING
    520
  • 39.BAYER
    487
  • 40.APPLE
    478
  • 41.INTERDIGITAL
    470
  • 42.PROCTER & GAMBLE
    463
  • 43.ZTE
    458
  • 44.NESTLE
    444
  • 45.PHILIP MORRIS
    433
  • 46.SAUDI ARABIAN OIL
    428
  • 47.MERCK KGAA
    427
  • 48.SAFRAN
    424
  • 49.TOSHIBA
    419
  • 50.SAINT-GOBAIN
    413
  • Direct
  • PCT regional2
Source: EPO.
Status: 1.2.2021.
1 This is the ranking of the main consolidated applicants at the EPO in 2020 (first-named applicant principle). It is based on European patent applications filed with the EPO, which include direct European applications and international (PCT) applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period. Applications by identifiable subsidiaries, not necessarily located in the same country, are allocated to the consolidated applicants.
2 PCT applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period.
3 Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications.
4 Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
5 Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives.

Shares in applications originating from Europe 1

A breakdown of applications originating from European countries shows that 74% of them were filed by large companies, 21% by SMEs and individual inventors, and 5% by universities and public research organisations. This shows that a significant proportion of applicants at the EPO are smaller entities.

Shares in applications
2020
Large enterprises 74%
SMEs2, individual inventors 21%
Universities and public research organisations3 5%
Source: EPO.
1 This breakdown is based on a large representative sample of patent applications filed with the EPO in 2020 by applicants located in member states of the European Patent Organisation.
2 SMEs have been identified based on the European Commission definition of SMEs (2003/361/EC).
According to this definition, an SME is i) an independent company with ii) less than 250 staff and iii) a turnover below €50 million and/or a balance sheet below €43 million.
Detailed financial data and company ownership data from the BvD Orbis database have been used to enable a strict application of this definition.
3 This category includes technology transfer offices that while registered as corporate entities are clearly affiliated to a university or public research organisation.

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