BEIJING, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The number of European patent filings grew again in 2015, reaching a new high of nearly 279,000 from 274,000 in 2014, an indicator of the growing demand for patent protection from businesses worldwide, said the Europe Paten Office (EPO) here on Thursday.
The EPO's 2015 annual report also showed that the number of European patent applications, files for which applicants have actually requested a European patent at the EPO, rose to 160,000 last year, mainly fuelled by companies from the United States and China.
The top five countries of origin for European patent applications in 2015 were the U.S., Germany, Japan, France and the Netherlands.
Moreover, medical technology was once again the field with the highest number of patent applications at the EPO in 2015, growing by a further 11 percent over 2014.
Other areas that showed significant growth were engines, pumps and turbines, pharmaceuticals, measurement and computers.
Philips moved into the top spot in the list of companies with the most patent applications at the EPO in 2015. Samsung ranked second, followed by LG, Huawei and Siemens.
"The remarkable growth in patent applications at the EPO proves that Europe continues to be a hub for innovators from all over the world, and an attractive technology market," said EPO president Benoit Battistelli.
"It reflects the interest of businesses and inventors in opting for high-quality patent protection for the European market," added the president.2016-03-15