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Statistics: European patents in 2015

Earlier today, the European Patent Office (EPO) published statistics on European patents and European patent applications in the year 2015. Interested? Vriesendorp & Gaade made a careful selection of the most important numbers.

European patent applications

The number of European patent applications has increased in 2015 with 4,8% to 160.022. This steadily extends the growth that was started in 2014. Half of the total number of European patent applications came from nearly half of the member states of the European Patent Convention, followed by the US (27%), Germany (16%) and Japan (13%). The Netherlands takes sixth with 7100 European patent applications (4%). Compared to 2014, China stands out with the largest increase (+22%) and takes 9th place with 5721 applications.

In the top 25 of companies with the most patent applications, the Dutch company Philips has retaken its top position from Samsung. Philips filed 2402 European patent applications. DSM, the only other Dutch company in the top 25, ranks 22nd with 760 European patent applications.

The Netherlands holds the second position, after Switzerland, with the most European patent applications (419) per million inhabitants.

Granted European patents

In 2014, the number of granted European patents was decreasing. In 2015 however, the number of granted European patents has increased again with 5,8% to 68.421, the highest number ever. This is possibly due to the increased efficiency at the European Patent Office. In 2015, 14% more 'products', such as searches and office actions, were produced.


In 2015, oppositions were filed against 4,4% of the European patents. 3713 decisions were issued about the validity of the European patents. In 70% of these cases, the European patent was maintained either in unamended or amended form.

Source and more information: EPO Download Centre

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