German technology firm Siemens tops the European Patent Office’s rankings for 2011, both in terms of applications and patents granted.
Siemens submitted 2,235 applications to the Office last year, and was granted 837 patents.
European companies kept their overall lead in 2011, with 38 per cent of patent filings at the EPO originating from Europe. Germany alone accounted for 14 per cent, followed by France (5 per cent), Switzerland (3.2 per cent), the UK, and the Netherlands.
In the top four in terms of patent applications, Siemens is followed by Dutch electronics company Philips (1,759 applications); Korean electronics group Samsung (1,733); and German chemical firm BASF (1,638).
“The list of the top applicants reflects the continued investment of European companies in research and innovation, with five European companies (Siemens, Philips, BASF, Robert Bosch and Ericsson) figuring among the list of the top ten filers in 2011”, said EPO president Benoît Battistelli.
But the share of patent applications filed by Asian companies increased to 33 per cent, compared to 30 per cent in 2010.
Overall, the EPO recorded an all-time high with 244,000 patent filings in 2011, a 3.7-per-cent increase compared to 2010.
Medical technology recorded most patent applications, with 9,351 filings in 2011. Since 2001, the number of EPO filings in that area has doubled.