Royal Philips is the world’s largest patent applicant for patents filed at the European Patent Office (EPO) in 2015. Last year Philips filed 2,402 patent applications according to the 2015 Patent Applicant Ranking, which was released today by the EPO.
Philips rose to first place in 2015 from the second position in 2014 in the EPO’s annual ranking. In addition, Philips ranks first in three of the ten leading fields of technology: 'Medical Technology', 'Electrical machinery, apparatus, energy' and 'Measurement.'
The Dutch company currently holds an IP Portfolio of 76,000 patents, 47,000 trademarks, 91,000 design rights and 5,000 domain names.
Samsung ranked second, followed by LG, Huawei and Siemens. The top 10 was made up of four companies from Europe, three from the US, two from Korea and one from China. With four companies in the top 20, Japanese enterprises also figure prominently among the largest applicants at the EPO.
According to the EPO's 2015 annual report, 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 (in 2014: 152,700, +4.8%). This increase was fuelled mainly by companies from the US and China. The volume of applications originating from the 38 EPO member states remained almost stable last year (+0.7%). In addition to the innovative capacity of US businesses, the strong growth in applications from the United States is also due to the effects of a change in US patent law. The top five countries of origin for European patent applications in 2015 were the US, Germany, Japan, France and the Netherlands.
Medical technology was once again the field with the highest number of patent applications at the EPO in 2015, growing by a further 11% over 2014. Other areas which showed significant growth were "Engines, pumps and turbines" (+18%) (where many patent applications in clean energies are filed), "Pharmaceuticals" (+10%), "Measurement" (+8%) and "Computers" (+8%).