IAM Patent 1000 2021

Patents are essential business commodities and knowing how to obtain, enforce and monetise them has become mission critical. The IAM Patent 1000 has firmly established itself as the definitive ‘go-to’ resource for those seeking to identify world-class, private practice patent expertise.

European Patent Office

Thanks to the covid-19 pandemic, the European Patent Office – like every other organisation on the planet – has had to adapt its working practices over the past 12 months. Although in-person hearings have faced unprecedented levels of postponement, dramatic increases in online filings and virtual hearings tell a more...

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Thanks to the covid-19 pandemic, the European Patent Office – like every other organisation on the planet – has had to adapt its working practices over the past 12 months. Although in-person hearings have faced unprecedented levels of postponement, dramatic increases in online filings and virtual hearings tell a more positive story. Despite the global challenges, patent filings dropped by just 0.7%, with 180,250 applications filed in total. From a geographical perspective, China, France, Korea and Italy are among those countries which ramped up their output; while the number of applications filed from the United States, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom fell by varying degrees. When it comes to technologies, meanwhile, applications increased by 2.6% in the medical technology field, 6.3% in the biotechnology field and an astonishing 10.2% in the pharmaceutical field; while filings in the areas of transport and measurement dropped by about 5% apiece. Samsung is the most prolific EPO filer, having filed 3,276 patents in 2020; Huawei and LG followed hot on its heels, with 3,113 and 2,909 respectively. Qualcomm came a distant fourth, submitting 1,711 applications. BASF – the 10th highest filer – is the only life sciences entity to make the top 10. While innovation is unlikely to slow down – and indeed, has been forced to accelerate in some areas thanks to covid-19 – the events of 2020 are unlikely to be fully reflected in the EPO statistics for last year. As the pandemic continues, the 2021 stats should be a better barometer for measuring its effects.

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