|By PR Newswire||
|March 6, 2013 04:01 AM EST||
BRUSSELS, March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
- Filings from Japan grow by 9.1% in volume over 2011
- With 34% Japan leads the countries' share in growth
- Japan No. 2 in number of filings
- Eight companies out of top 25 patent applicants are Japanese
Japanese companies were the biggest drivers of growth at the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2012, contributing 34% to the increase in patent filings, more than companies from any other country.
With a total of 51.693, patent filings from Japanese companies grew by 9.1% over 2011, to reach a 20.1% share in the total of all European patent filings (2011: 19.3%). This consolidates Japan's position a second-largest patent filing country behind the US and ahead of Germany.
"The patent filings of today are shaping the innovations of tomorrow", EPO President Benoît Battistelli said today at the presentation of the 2012 EPO Annual Results in Brussels. "In 2012, the steepest growth in patent filings and more than half of the increase came from Asian firms."
In total EPO received 257.744 patent filings in 2012 from all over the world. This represents a 5.2% increase over 2011 (244.934,) and sets a new record in the office's history.
The top five country positions in 2012 are held by the US (24.6%), Japan (20.1%), Germany (13.3%), China (7.3%), and Korea (5.6%). With 63.5% the majority of filings at the EPO again came from non-European countries (2011: 62%).
The Japanese company with the highest number of patent applications at EPO in 2012 was Mitsubishi, ranked 8th, with 1.344 applications. Among the top 25 companies there were seven further Japanese companies, namely Panasonic (11th), Sony (13th), Hitachi (17th), Sharp (21st), Toyota (22nd), Sumitomo (23rd), Fujitsu (24th).
Representing 12% of all Japanese patent applications, the by far most important technology field for Japanese patenting activities was Electrical machinery, apparatus and energy, where Panasonic filed the second-largest number of applications, while Sumitomo is ranked 9th. In the transport sector, three companies from Japan - Honda (3rd), Toyota Motor (4th) and Mitsubishi (10th, on par with Audi) - figure among the ten largest applicants.
About the EPO
The European Patent Office (EPO) is one of the largest European public service institutions with almost 7 000 employees. Its headquarters are in Munich and it has offices in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague and Vienna. The EPO was founded with the aim of strengthening co-operation between the European states in the field of patents. Through its centralised patent granting procedure, inventors are able to obtain patent protection in the EPO's 38 member states. Internationally, the EPO maintains close co-operation ties with the Japan Patent Office.
More information and detailed statistics can be found here (links to the EPO's Online Annual Report):
Mr Oswald Schröder
Mr Rainer Osterwalder
European Patent Office