European Patent Office (EPO):  European companies and inventors file more patent applications in 2018

  • Demand for patent protection continues to grow: over 174 000 applications (+4.6%) filed at the European Patent Office, according to its 2018 Annual Report
  • Almost all of the EPO’s top 20 countries of origin showed growth in 2018
  • European companies accounted for most growth in applications but increases recorded for all regions of the world
  • US remains top country of origin, ahead of Germany and Japan
  • Slower growth in applications from China
  • European firm Siemens reclaims applicant top spot, followed by Huawei and Samsung
  • EPO further increases its production and productivity in response to growing demand; number of European patents granted up by 21%
  • EPO President Campinos: “The EPO’s Annual Report shows that demand for patent protection in Europe is high, on the rise, and coming from all major industrial regions. In 2018 Europe has again proved itself to be an extremely attractive technology market for European and international businesses.”

Munich, 12 March 2019 – The number of patent applications filed with the European Patent Office (EPO) grew by 4.6% last year, reaching a new high of 174 317 (2017:166 594) (Fig.: Growth of European patent applications). The EPO’s Annual Report for 2018 shows an increase in patents filed from all major industrial regions but European companies maintained the lead in their home market, with 47% of all patent applications at the EPO originating from the 38 EPO member states.

Asian companies also held their ground, with the combined share of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea rising moderately to 22.6% (2017: 22.1%). The US remained the top country of origin, accounting for 25% of total filings, followed by Germany, Japan, France and China. Thanks to its highly dedicated staff and the combined effect of recent measures to improve the patent-grant process, the EPO published 127 625 granted European patents (+21%) in 2018.Read more on the press release.

Read more on the files.


About the EPO

With nearly 7 000 staff, the European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest public service institutions in Europe. Headquartered in Munich with offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna, the EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening cooperation on patents in Europe. Through the EPO's centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain high-quality patent protection in up to 44 countries, covering a market of some 700 million people. The EPO is also the world's leading authority in patent information and patent searching.

About Us

We register companies, associations, foundations and other organizations and corporations, as well as enterprise mortgages and LEI codes. We examine and grant patents and register utility models. We also register trademarks for products and services and provide design protection. We oversee and approve auditors and monitor foundations and the collective management of copyright. We offer our customers advisory services and courses. We give information about companies, organizations, corporations and immaterial rights. Our office is an International Searching Authority (ISA) and International Preliminary Examining Authority (IPEA) for international PCT patent applications.