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News article30 March 2023European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency1 min read

EPO Patent Index 2022: The Number of European Patent Applications Continues to Increase

The European Patent Office (EPO) has recently published the Patent Index 2022 which presents an overview of the European patent applications filed and European patents granted by the EPO last year. The Index shows that 193 460 applications were submitted to the EPO in 2022, a 2.5% increase over the prior year and a new record.

The increase in patent applications, which is a sign that businesses are investing more in research and development (R&D), shows that innovation remained strong despite global economic uncertainty in 2022.

Digital communication, medical technology, computer technology, electrical machinery/apparatus/energy, and pharmaceuticals were top five technology fields with the largest number of applications in the previous year.

United States, Germany, Japan, China, and France were top five countries of origin for patent applications at the EPO in 2022. Even though, a significant increase was seen in share of filings from Ireland (+12.3%), Switzerland (+5.9%), Belgium (+5.0%) and the Netherlands (+3.5%), filings from European applicants in total remained at the same level as 2021 at 43.4%. The increasing proportion of EPO applications coming from countries outside of Europe demonstrates how appealing the European technology market is to businesses from throughout the globe.

Huawei was the leading patent applicant at the EPO for the fourth time since 2017, followed by LG, Qualcomm, Samsung and Ericsson.

Large firms were not the only ones interested in patents, smaller organizations also submitted a big proportion of EPO's applications. One in five patent applications to the EPO originating in Europe came from an individual inventor or a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME).



Publication date
30 March 2023
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency