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More U.S. companies are applying for Patents in Europe

For many companies, the marketplace is becoming increasingly more global. As such, it is important to obtain the necessary Intellectual Property protections in each country where you do business. This includes securing your company's patents.

Given this international focus, it is no wonder that the European Patent Office (EPO) granted a record high number of Patents to U.S. companies in 2016. Last year, U.S. companies were granted 21,939 patents by the EPO, a 46.7 percent increase from the previous year.

In total, the EPO received nearly 160,000 patent applications in 2016. Of these, 40,076 applications were from the United States, accounting for 25 percent of the total applications to the EPO. Of these, more than half of U.S. patents received EPO approval.

U.S. patent applications were particularly strong in the following key areas:

  • Computer technology - 39 percent
  • Medical technology - 38 percent
  • Engines, pumps and turbines - 36 percent
  • Pharmaceuticals - 36 percent

The top five countries of origin for EPO patent applications are the United States, Germany, Japan, France and Switzerland. Three of the five top applicants are members of the EPO, which makes up 48 percent of all applications. There also was strong growth in applications from China and Korea.

"The 2016 results confirm Europe's attractiveness as a leading global marketplace for innovation," said EPO President BenoƮt Battistelli. "In a rapidly changing technology landscape, companies from around the world have kept up their demand for patent protection in Europe."

If you are considering applying for a Patent with the EPO or in other foreign markets, consider hiring an experienced Intellectual Property attorney. They can advise you on the appropriate markets for your Patent and guide you through the complexities of the application process.

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