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European Patent Office: record patent applications from Austria


Austrian submissions to the European Patent Office (EPO) reached new heights last year, with some 2,200 patent applications presented.

The European Patent Office (EPO) ’s annual report records an 8.2% increase in applications from Austria, with 2,213 European patents submitted in 2017, compared with 2,040 in 2016. This is the strongest growth in seven years, leaving Austria occupying 7th place in Europe and 12th place globally.

Austria’s most prolific patent-seeker was the chemical conglomerate Borealis (155 submissions), followed by austriamicrosystems (78), ZKW (49), Zumtobel (48) and Tridonic (42). Most of the patent applications from Austria were submitted in the categories ‘electrical machinery, apparatus and energy’, ‘civil engineering’, ‘transport’, ‘macromolecular chemistry, polymers’ and ‘other special machines’.

Overall, patent applications to the EPO rose 3.9% to some 165,600 last year, with the five top countries by submission totals being the USA, Germany, Japan, France and China, followed by Switzerland in 6th place. For the first time in EPO history, a Chinese company (Huawei) submitted the most patents.

Factoring in total population, Austria occupies 7th place, with 253 applications per million inhabitants – considerably higher than the average for the 28 EU countries, which is 134 applications per million.

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