Patent filings at the European Patent Office grew by 2.8% to a new record of 265,000 in 2013, according to a new report.
The results, released by the EPO this morning, shows filings from European member states increased by 6.3%, a sharp increase in filings within the EU.
The total number of patent filings made to the European Patent Office from European member states was 93,600, representing 35.3% of the overall total.
Germany has consolidated its position as the largest patent filing country in the EU followed by France, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
The UK ranks as the fifth largest filer in the EU and its overall share of filings (2%) remained the same as the previous year.
Growth in filings from Asia also continued in 2013, with China (+16%) and South Korea (+14%) reporting particularly strong increases. Of the Far Eastern countries, Japan was the most prolific filer.
Medical technology attracted the highest number of filings and for the first time EU companies filed more applications than those in the US, while European filings were also strong in the automotive and aerospace sectors.
Karl Barnfather, chairman of intellectual property law firm Withers & Rogers, said the results prove that investment in innovation throughout multiple sectors is crucial towards the EU’s long term prosperity, while he is unsurprised by the number filed in the Far East.
“It is no surprise that Far Eastern countries like China and South Korea are filing such a significant increase in patent applications, given the ongoing global demand for products in the consumer electronics and manufacturing sectors and the need to protect this innovation,” he said.
“Furthermore, respect for patent protection and patent law has grown significantly in these countries and this has undoubtedly played a part in helping to maintain and build on their share of filings in 2013.”