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News article22 March 2024European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency1 min read

Just Published: EPO Patent Index 2023

On 19 March 2024, European Patent Office (EPO) published Patent Index 2023 which presents an overview of the European patent applications filed and European patents granted by the EPO last year. According to the Index, EPO received 199 275 applications in 2023, up 2.9% on the previous year and the highest number to date. The number of patent applications increased in eight of the top 10 most patent-active fields of technology, with electrical machinery, apparatus, energy (+12.2%), digital communication (+8.6%) and biotechnology (+5.9%) posting the strongest growth. 

The top five countries of origin for European patent applications in 2023 were the United States, Germany, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea. Some 43% of the total applications came from companies and inventors from the EPO’s 39 member states, while 57% originated from outside Europe.

As of 1 June 2023, innovators have had the opportunity to benefit from the Unitary Patent system — a novel approach that offers simpler and more cost-effective patent protection across 17 EU member states. Under this system, a European patent enjoys unitary legal effect and can be enforced or litigated before the newly established Unified Patent Court. The Unitary Patent system has already gained significant popularity among patent owners. In 2023, unitary protection was requested for 17.5% of all European patents granted, with over 18,300 requests filed. Furthermore, in the second half of 2023, after the system was launched, unitary protection was requested for 22.3% of the patents granted during that period.



Publication date
22 March 2024
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency