Tag Archives: EPO

China’s growth in European patent apps was three times the U.S. in 2017

The European Patent Office (EPO) 2017 annual report, recently published, revealed several surprising patent filing trends, including the rapid growth of China .

The People’s Republic of China filed 16.6% more applications last year than in 2016, three times more than the U.S., which filed 5.8% more.

The five most active patent filing companies were Huawei (China), Siemens (Germany), LG (Korea), Samsung (Korea) and Qualcomm (U.S.).

The U.S. comprised 26% of all European applications submitted in 2017; Japan 13%. German was the lead European filer with 15% of those coming from Europe and about 7% overall.

2017 European Patent Office Annual Report

Infographic with highlights of the EPO Annual Report 2017


After European patent filings dropped slightly in 2016 from 2015, they were up overall by 3.9% in 2017.

Top fields were Medical Technology, up 6.2%, and Digital Communication, up 5.7%. Transport was down 4.2%.

SMEs, individual inventors, universities and research institutions, comprised 31% of applications; larger enterprises 69%. Grants were up 10.1%. Among European nations, Denmark experience the greatest application growth, 13.1%

For the full 2017 EPO Annual Report, go here.

Image source: epo.org 

Mobility Patents Now Comprise 21% of all U.S. Grants

Report Details Surprising Shift in IP Haves and Have-Nots

In the first quarter of 2012 better than one in five patents granted in the U.S. were related to mobile communications. This is up from just 5% in 2001.

Not only has the filing pace picked up, but according to a report written by a wireless industry consultant who analyzed some 7 million patents granted by the USPTO and the EPO since 1993, it has provided some players with a surprising arsenal and others with holes that need to be filled. The research, Mobile Patents Landscape: An In-Depth Analysis, examines the evolution of IP filings and grants in the mobile industries, and who are the apparent winners and losers. (It is available by clicking on the highlighted title.)

*     *     *

One of analyst Chetan Sharma’s centerpiece graphs (shown on the left side of this page), Mobile Related Patents Issued, 1993-2011, breaks out USPTO and EPO grants. Samsung, Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent and IBM are the top four.

Nokia, which recently announced 10,000 layoffs and whose credit has been has been downgraded to non-investment grade, looks to be in a good position to get top dollar (or Euro) for selling a portion of its patents, should it choose to.

Alcatel-Lucent is the European leader, while IBM, surprisingly, is the U.S. leader in mobile communications by far with about 9,500 patents. Apple is shown to have barely 1,000 mobility-related patents and perhaps only 100 in Europe.

Mobile Patents Landscape makes for fascinating reading for anyone interested in mobile communications patents and holders.

Illustration source: iClarified.com

IP Leaders to Regard “Tipping Point” at Global Business Congress

Opening Session will Focus on Critical IP Developments & Directions

More has happened to cast the spotlight on IP rights in the past 24 months than in the previous 50 years.

With new legislation being enacted, court decisions weakening patents, anti-patent rhetoric, Pirate Parties gaining momentum in Sweden and Germany, and transactions generating billions for sellers, it is difficult to know if IP rights are in fact facilitating innovation and commerce or impeding it.

The Tipping Point, the topic of the lead session on June 25 at this year’s Intellectual Property Business Congresss in Cascais, Portugal, near Lisbon, will attempt to sort things out.

Discussing and debating developments affecting IP rights will be the heads of the EPO, USPTO, LES, Thompson Reuters, the Office of Harmonization, and the Rockstar Consortium (consisting of among others, Apple, Microsoft, Ericsson and Sony).

Moderating the discussion will be your intrepid editor, Bruce Berman. I look forward to seeing many IP CloseUp readers there, as we did at last year’s IPBC in San Francisco. If you are in Cascais, be sure to stop by and say hello, and don’t be shy about asking questions at the session, which will open the Congress.

The Tipping Point will provide those who attend a good opportunity to query heads of important IP organizations about where they think IP is now and where it is headed, and how we can keep it on track. I will have some questions of my own.

The tipping point defined, BTW, “is the critical point in an evolving situation that leads to a new and irreversible development.”

Illustration source: patentdocs.org 

%d bloggers like this: