The European Patent Office (EPO) received a total of 180,250 patent applications last year, which was a slight 0.7 percent less than in 2019, when a record 181,532 applications were filed, with most inventions in the field of medical technology.
Medical technology was the leader in the number of inventions, as 14,295 patent applications were filed in this area last year, or 2.6 percent more than in 2019.
It is followed by digital communication, with 14,122 patent applications or 1 percent more, and computer technology, 13,097 applications or 1.9 percent more than slaughtered.
Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, on the other hand, were the fastest growing areas - the number of patent claims in pharmaceuticals increased by 10.2 percent compared to the previous year, to 8,589 claims, and in biotechnology by 6.3 percent, to 7,246 claims.
“The EPO Patent Index for 2020 shows that the demand for patent protection is still high. Overall, the patenting activity was strong, although it varied between technology sectors and economic regions,” said EPO President Antonio Campinos.
In terms of the geographical origin of the invention, the top five countries in 2020 are again the US, with 44,293 applications, followed by Germany (25,954), Japan (21,841), China (13,432) and France (10,554).
However, the statement said, there were significant differences in growth rates - as in 2019, the highest growth among the top 10 countries came from Chinese (9.9 percent) and South Korean (9.2 percent) applicants, while the US patent applicants filed 4.1 percent fewer applications, German by 3 percent and Japanese by 1.1 percent. 3.1 percent more patent applications were filed from France.