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Shares in applications originating from Europe 

A breakdown of applications originating from European countries shows that 69% of them were filed by large companies, 23% by SMEs and individual inventors, and 8% by universities and public research organisations. This shows that a significant proportion of applicants at the EPO are smaller entities.


Source: EPO.
Status: 29.1.2024.

1 This breakdown is based on a large representative sample of patent applications filed with the EPO in 2023 by applicants located in the 39 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) fewer than 250 staff and iii) a turnover below EUR 50 million and/or a balance sheet below EUR 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.