Filing numbers increase for European patents and designs

Despite the difficult economic times the European Patent Office (EPO) received a record number of new patent filings in 2011. There were a total of 243,000 applications, up 3% on 2010, which saw an increase of 11% on the previous year.

When looking at the origin country of the applicants, 39% of applicants are from the EU, (this percentage is about static year on year), 24% are from USA (down 2% of the total), and 31% are from Japan, China and Korea combined (up 3% of the total). China and Russia had the largest rises in percentage terms, of around 26% each when compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, a total of 62,000 patents were granted by the EPO in 2011, which
represents an increase of 7%.

There was also good news for EU Community registered designs, with a total of
just over 87,000 design applications being filed at the EU Community Design
Registry (OHIM) in 2011. This is a 6% increase on the 2010 filing numbers.

Around 40% of all the design applications received by OHIM are now registered
within two days and only one third take over 12 days to proceed to registration. Therefore a granted right is obtainable very quickly, providing a simple and cost effective form of protection across the EU.