EPO: China Files Record-High European Patent Applications in 2022
Updated: 4 07,2023 Source:China IP News

Chinese companies and inventors filed a record high of 19,041 patent applications at the European Patent Office (EPO), up 15.1%, the highest among the 20 major patent filing countries, according to the Patent Index 2022 revealed by EPO recently.

According to the report, the office received 193,460 applications in 2022, up 2.5% from the previous year. The top five applicant countries are the United States, Germany, Japan, China and France, with China (15.1%) and the United States (2.9%) and South Korea (10.0%) being the main engines of growth in patent filings.

In the company ranking, Huawei was still the busiest filer at the EPO in 2022, filing 4,505 patents, up more than 27 % year-on-year. LG of South Korea, Qualcomm of the United States and Samsung of South Korea ranked second to fourth. Apart from Huawei, eight other Chinese companies including OPPO, ZTE, Tencent, BOE Technology, VIVO, Baidu, Xiaomi and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co.,Limited (CATL) also made the top 50.

Digital communication was once again the field with the most patent applications last year, with a total of 16,705 applications, up 11.2% year-on-year, closely followed by medical technology and computer technology with 15,683 and 15,193 ones respectively.

China also saw a rapid growth and surpassed Japan (19.9%) and the United States (18.1%) in electrical machinery, apparatus and energy (including battery technology), up 47.7% year-on-year. CATL paced all Chinese companies in machinery/energy, and ranked third overall in Europe.

China posted a 44.3% and 39.9% increase in biotechnology and organic fine chemistry respectively, and had the biggest gains in the latter among major patent filing countries.

Patent filings from China, now accounting for nearly 10 percent of the total applications at the office, have more than doubled over the past five years and are nearly five times the level of a decade ago, Luis Berenguer Gimenez, an EPO spokesperson, told Xinhua. China is not only strong in digital communication and computer technology and AI, but also growing more active in patenting in many other areas such as biotechnology and medical technology, he noted.

Given the country's focus on protecting intellectual property rights to help boost its economic growth, the record number of Chinese patent applications at the EPO has a global significance for the protection of intellectual property rights, he stressed.

Headquartered in Munich, Germany, EPO has many branches in major cities around Europe. Inventors may obtain patent protection in the markets of the EPO member states of EPO via patent granting proceedings of the office. (Courtesy: Xinhua)