According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) the growth rate for patent applications from Japan, Republic of Korea and China remains exceptional.
According to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) the number of international patent applications from Japan, Republic of Korea, and China, has risen by 162%, 200% and 212%, respectively, since 2000. These growth rates reflect the rapidly growing technological strength in north east Asia.
The top five patent filers remain the United States, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy and Finland are also among the top 15 filers. The biggest annual growth in patent applications from the EU-25 was in Finland: 11.6% in 2005. During the same period, the number of applications from China rose by 43.7%.
As to international businesses, the Dutch manufacturer Philips applied the most – 2,492 applications – followed by Matsushita (Japan), Siemens (Germany) and Nokia (Finland).
Currently, in Europe, patents are awarded either on a national basis or through the European Patent Office (EPO) which grants the European patent. Each member state can still ask for the European patent to be translated into their official language.
The creation of a Community patent, a single patent legally valid in the EU, has been on the EU table for years, blocked in the Council. Community patent could, eventually, mean less of a need for translations and thus cheaper patents for businesses.