Netherlands Ranks High for Patent Filing

Netherlands Ranks High for Patent Filing

The Netherlands is one of the most active countries with the number of patent filings. The Netherlands ranks fifth among European countries in terms of patent filing in 2012 and ranks ninth worldwide.

2.5 percent of all patent filings at the European Patent Office is Dutch, according to EPO.

Philips is the largest patents applicant among Dutch companies. The Dutch electronics company ranks twelfth worldwide with nearly 1,200 applications. Unilever and Dutch chemical company DSM rank much lower, respectively on the 43rd and 44th place.

The number of patent filings at the EPO originating from the 38 EPO member states reached a new peak in 2012, beating the previous record set in 2008.

“The growth of filings from European businesses is a clear indication that industry here has opted to innovate its way out of the economic crisis”, EPO President Benoît Battistelli said today, as he presented the EPO’s 2012 annual results in Brussels.

“The patent filings of today are shaping the innovations of tomorrow. These results confirm that Europe is not only a prime location for R&D activities but also valued as a stronghold of innovation by both technology generating and exporting companies.”

Last year, the EPO received a total of 257 744 patent filings from all over the world. This represents a 5.2% increase over 2011 (244 934) and sets a new record. The EPO also published 65 687 granted patents, 5.8% more than in 2011 (62 115).

36.5% of all filings came from the 38 EPO member states (2011: 37.5%). The top five countries in 2012 were the US (24.6%), Japan (20.1%), Germany (13.3%), China (7.3%), and Korea (5.6%). The most active European countries after Germany were France (4.7%), Switzerland (3.2%), the UK (2.6%) and the Netherlands (2.5%).

With 2.3% growth, the number of filings from Europe has recovered well from the slight decline in 2011 (-0.9%).The steepest growth rates, however, again came from Chinese (+11.1%), Korean (+9.3%) and Japanese (+9.1%) companies. Accordingly, Asian countries accounted for more than half of total growth.

The EPO also published a new record of granted patents: 65 687. The lion’s share of 49.7% (2011: 52.5%) again went to European companies, whose total of 32 628 was more than the grants to US (14 605) and Chinese, Korean and Japanese firms (15 509) taken together.

Europe dominant in automotive sector and environmental technologies
European companies were leading applicants in eight of the ten most active technology fields. They were particularly dominant in transport (especially the automotive and aeronautic sectors), where over 60% of all applications came from EPO states. With shares of 50% and more, applicants from Europe also led the way in measurement technology, engines, pumps, turbines (particularly in clean energy technologies) and organic fine chemistry.

Medical technology was again the field with the most applications. This sector was dominated by US applicants (42%), followed by Europe with 38%.

In computers and IT, US and Asian firms held sway. Filings in digital communication were up by more than 20%, by far the highest growth rate of all technologies. Chinese and also Korean firms were the driving force behind that development: digital communication accounted for 42% of all patent applications originating from China.

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