LONDON Ė Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has taken over from Siemens AG as the leading filer of patent applications in Europe according to a report on 2012 from the European Patent Office (EPO). However, Qualcomm dropped several places in the ranking compared with 2011.
The EPO received record-breaking 257,744 patent filings in 2012 from all over the world, an increase of 5.2 percent over 2011 (244,934). The EPO also published 65 687 granted patents, 5.8 percent more than in 2011 (62,115).
The number of patent applications filed with the EPO that originated from the 38 European countries that make up the EPO was also a record beating the previous high set in 2008.
"The growth of filings from European businesses is a clear indication that industry here has opted to innovate its way out of the economic crisis," said Benoit Battistelli, president of the EPO, in a statement.
However, the significance of electronics to technology was reflected in the list of companies ranked by the number of patents applications. Among the top ten firms were four European companies, four companies from Asia and two from the US. For the first time, however, the ranking was topped by an Asian company, Samsung, followed by Siemens and BASF. Robert Bosch and Ericsson are the two other European companies in the top ten. A Chinese company - ZTE - broke into the top ten for the first time, advancing from 43rd to 10th position.
"We at the EPO are proud that the EU has entrusted us with delivering the unitary patent, recognizing the role of the EPO as a key enabler of innovation in Europe," Battistelli added.
Click on image to enlarge.
Siemens falls to second place as Samsung climbs to number one. Source: European Patent Office