Big spike in Euro patents - but 63% were filed from outside Europe
UK a measly 8th in filings at European Patent Office
More patents were filed to the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2012 than ever before, said the EPO today. The 258,000 applications filed represent a third record year in a row for the Patent Office and reflect the worldwide push to patent driven by the tech industry.
But the 5.7 perc ent increase in patent applications from 2011 says more about the value of Europe as a customer base than as a technological powerhouse.
Only 37 per cent of the patent applications to the EPO last year came from European countries. The bulk came from international companies looking to protect their products in the European market - 24.7 per cent of patents filed were from the USA, and the Asian trio of Japan, China and South Korea took 2nd, 4th and 5th place on list.
"[This] shows that companies from Europe and around the world are continuing to seek protection for their inventions, and that Europe remains an attractive market for new technologies," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli.
Germany was the most innovative European country, going by numbers of patents filed, coming in third behind the US and Japan with 34,590 applications in 2012, or 13.4 per cent of all patent filings.
Britain was an unexceptional eighth in the list behind China, South Korea, France and Switzerland. Brits filed 6,763 patents with the EPO in 2012, a modest increase of 4.4 per cent on 2011: giving the UK a 2.6 percent share of total filings.
Patent applications from most European countries were up or steady, with the exception of Italy (down 4 per cent) and Ireland (down 8.4 per cent). More detail on the figures will be out in March. ®
Make it easier
To file a europe wide patent for europeans, choose a language and let us file in that for everywhere. Ridiculous the amount it is to get europe wide protection. Only big companies can afford it. This is not why patents were invented.
Re: Napoleon Was Right
They are important for the person with a new idea which would get quickly stolen by others.
Mr Dyson made sure he had his cyclone technology protected when he was trying to sell it to Hoover and others. They turned him down (presumably because they were all too happy selling bags) and he built quite a nice business after setting it up for himself.
Look at the vacuum cleaners in a electrical store, they all look so similar to his it's unbelievable. Without the patent they would have just stolen the idea and he wouldn't have a business now.
The problem of patents is when big companies use them excessively.
Drug companies have protection on their drugs since paying for research is very expensive. A drug can be 20 years or more in the making sometimes. While you might think it would be great to not have the patent it would result in reduced research or the research having to be paid for out of general taxation.
Re: Napoleon Was Right
As my brother famously (*) said, "Never mind the economy, we can always just sell each other haircuts over the Internet".
Sad, so sad to see the UK manufacturing base gone..
(*) Famous to me, at least.
Re: Make it easier
"According to the European Commission, the new unitary patent will cost a minimum of €4,725, when the new rules are fully implemented, up to a maximum of €6,425. The costs for translation will range from €680 to €2,380."
So my wish is granted on stumping up around £5000. Right well that still puts it out of the league of small inventors and aimed firmly at Business.
Although, it should make it easier if it is ratified.
Re: Filing patents has nothing to do with innovation
Moreso - a filed patent != a legitimate patent. Which is probably the reason, maybe we're just filing less frivolous stuff?