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European innovation powers on

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European innovation powers on

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Applications for patents from the European Patent Office (EPO) reached a new peak last year. The EPO covers 38 European countries, so the figures are encouraging. The news was announced in Brussels by the EPO’s president, Benoit Battistelli. The office has almost 7,000 employees, making it one of the largest public service institutions in Europe, and its mission is to strengthen co-operation between European states in the field of patents. Euronews met Mr Battistelli.

He said: “We have good news for the European economy. In 2012, the EPO received 258,000 requests for patents, which was 5.2% more than in 2011, and that was already a record year. So that means that European, Asian and American businesses continue to invest, to develop innovation, in order to get out of the economic crisis.”

Euronews asked the EPO’s president which countries and businesses in Europe have the most patents.

Benoit Battistelli said: “In Europe, the number one is Germany by a long chalk, with nearly 14% of the total applications, followed by France with 5% of the total and then comes Switzerland, Great Britain and Holland. We are publishing a list of our top ten – by which I mean the leading applicants in terms of the number of patents requested. And this year for the first time it is a company from outside Europe. Samsung is number one, followed by Siemens at number two, and Bosch at number three. Among the top ten are 4 European companies, 4 Asian ones, and 2 American ones.”