The European Patent Office (EPO) has published the Patent Index 2021, analysing the patenting activities of the past year. EPO's overall verdict is exceptionally positive: After a marginal decline in European patent filings in 2020, patenting activity rebounded significantly in 2021. This finding signals that innovation has bounced back after the shock waves caused by the onset of the global pandemic.
According to the EPO report, Europe has been an attractive technology market for European and international companies in 2021. A record number of patent applications were filed last year, with over 188,000 applications received. While European companies filed the largest share of applications in total (44 %), Germany, France, and Switzerland took the lead. US companies trailed behind Europe with 25 %.
Digital communications, medical technology and computer technology were the top three technical fields for European patent applications in 2021. Annual patent filings have returned to pre-pandemic levels in over half of all technology fields.
- Publication date
- 5 April 2022