Europe’s patent applications surge in 2023

The EPO experienced a surge in patent applications in 2023, led by sectors like digital communication and energy, among others

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The European Patent Office (EPO) recorded unprecedented patent applications last year, as per the ‘EPO Patent Index 2023‘ report. Most European patent applications came from the US, Germany, Japan, China, and South Korea. Notably, 57% of applications were outside the EPO’s 39 member states. Finland, Spain, the UK, and Italy witnessed the strongest growth in Europe.

The EPO saw the most patent applications in digital communication, medical, and computer technologies in the past year. However, electrical machinery and energy saw the most growth of 12.2% in 2022, particularly in clean-energy innovations like batteries. Moreover, biotechnology patents also increased by 5.9%.

The top applicants included Huawei, Samsung, LG, Qualcomm, and Ericsson, with the leading ten featuring four European, two Korean, two American, and one each from China and Japan. Most notably, small companies accounted for nearly one in four European patent applicants.