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EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE : RECORD NUMBER OF PATENTS FILED WITH EPO IN 2011.

The year 2011 set a new record for the number of patent applications filed with the European Patent Office (EPO). The intergovernmental body (38 member countries) that manages the registration of European patents received 243,000 applications last year, a 3% increase over the 2010 record figure of 237,500, and granted 62,115 patents, 7% more than in 2010. "I am pleased to see that R&D investment held up well last year despite the financial crisis," commented EPO President Benoit Battistelli, on 17 January, in a statement presenting the data.

In terms of geographical origin of applications, the main trends observed in recent years continue: a majority (62%) come from non-European countries. The United States still leads with 24% of total patent applications, though its level slipped by 2.5% compared with 2010. It is followed by Japan (19%) and China (7%), which continue to progress along with the rest of Asia (+ 7%). South Korea ranks fifth in terms of number of patent applications filed with the EPO.

The share of European Union member states remained stable: Germany still files the most applications (14%) and ranks fourth, ahead of France (5%), the United Kingdom and the Netherlands (3% each). The main emerging economies show substantial increases from a fairly low starting point: 13.1% for India, 26.2% for Russia and 11.3% for Brazil.

These are preliminary figures. The annual report, announced for March, will present detailed figures on trends in individual industries and other data not yet available.

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Publication:Europe Environment
Date:Feb 3, 2012
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