The European Patent Office-EPO has published the annual statistical report on the patent filings.
Innovations in Healthcare drove patent activity in 2020: inventions in medical technology achieved the first position (almost 14.300 applications, with an increase of 2,6% in respect to the previous year), while inventions in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology showed the most relative growth in respect to the previous year, the former +10,2% and the latter +6,3%. Transport showed the largest drop (-5,5%).
Despite the epidemiology emergency, the number of patent filings at the EPO in 2020 is substantially constant (180.250 filings), showing a minor drop (-0,7%).
In terms of the geographic origin of inventions, the top five countries in 2020 were again the US (44 293 applications), followed by Germany (25 954), Japan (21 841), China (13 432), and France (10 554). Observing the growth rates, China gets the first rank (+9,9), followed by South Korea (+9,2%), while the US loses 4,1%, Germany 3,%, and Italy gets +2,9% with 4.600 patent filings and reaching the 10th position in the top ten countries for patent applications in 2020.