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Innovation on the rise: Record number of European patents in 2022 despite economic uncertainty

Despite the uncertain economic climate, a record number of patent applications were filed at the European Patent Office in 2022
Despite the uncertain economic climate, a record number of patent applications were filed at the European Patent Office in 2022 Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Euronews
Published on Updated
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The European Patent Office reported 193,460 patent applications by companies and inventors were made in 2022.

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A record number of patents were filed at the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2022, a 2.5 per cent rise on the year before.

Despite global economic uncertainties, the EPO reported 193,460 applications were made, with 83,955 applications made by companies and inventors from EPO member states. These member states include every European Union country.

The top five EU countries with the most inventions in 2022 were Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Italy.

Worldwide, the US had the most EPO applications, with more than 48,000, with Germany and Japan coming second and third respectively.

China came fourth in the overall list ahead of France in fifth.

The United Kingdom came in ninth place, below the Netherlands (8th) but above Sweden (10th) and Italy (11th).

With 11.2 per cent more applications than in 2021, those related to digital communications were once again the field with the highest number.

This was followed closely by medical technology, and then computer technology.

The fastest growing area was electrical machinery, apparatus, and energy, a field that includes inventions related to clean energy. This was driven in part by the boom in battery technologies.

"When it comes to the promise of green innovation, there has been solid, sustained growth in filings related to clean energy technologies and other means that create, transfer and store electricity," said EPO President António Campinos.

"It’s this ongoing boom that is navigating the energy transition. Innovators are also working towards a smarter future, as the fourth industrial revolution takes hold of our lives, sectors, and industries – and spreads far into other areas from transport to healthcare.

"We can see this in the relentless growth in patent applications in digital technologies and semiconductors".

European companies had the biggest share of applications in seven of the top 10 technology fields in 2022, leading in all sectors except for digital communication, computer technology and pharmaceuticals, where the US led.

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