See also

  • Warning
    Beware of approaches and requests for payment from firms purporting to register European patents

Patent filings

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.

Patent filings survey 2018

Please find here the report. Summary documents are also available in French and German. 

Please check the archive for reports on older surveys.

Patent filings survey 2019

This year the survey field investigation takes place from May to September 2019. BERENT is in charge of the administration of the survey which, nevertheless, remains under the supervision of the Office.

In case you are approached with a request to participate in the survey, it will be greatly appreciated if you can please agree to do so. The material that will be provided to you is accompanied by an invitation letter from the EPO. Your response should be made to BERENT. The information that you provide will be treated as confidential and for research purposes only. BERENT can be contacted for technical support by telephone at +49 (0) 561 503 44 205.

This notice confirms the legitimacy of the survey. For further confirmation from the Office itself please write to Ms Bettina Reichl. The report of the survey will be published at this site in early 2020.


The EPO carries out this applicant survey in order to

  • estimate how many filings might be expected at the EPO and other patent offices over the next three years
  • forecast the budget and manpower resources required to cope with the estimated number of filings
  • understand the processes that lead to an application being filed
  • collect information about economic trends


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.

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