The European Patent Office received 160,000 European patent applications in 2016. The US, Germany, Japan, France and Switzerland were the top five countries of origin. The US accounted for 25% of all applications filed with the EPO in 2016, making it the biggest patent applicant at the European Patent Office (EPO).
The number of patents granted to US companies by the EPO grew by almost 50% in 2016, the highest increase in ten years and a record high. US companies received 21,939 granted EP patents in 2016 compared with 14,955 in 2015.
US firms accounted for:
- 39% of all patent applications in Computer technology (Microsoft was the No. 1 patent applicant in Computer technology, Qualcomm No. 4, Intel No. 5, and Google No. 6)
- 38% of all patent applications in Medical technology (No. 2, Johnson & Johnson No. 3, Boston Scientific No. 5, and Procter & Gamble No. 7)
- 36% in Engines, pumps, turbines and Pharmaceuticals (United Technologies was the No. 1 patent applicant, followed by GE)