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Spanish companies and inventors submitted 2,111 European patent applications in 2023, almost 7% more than in 2022

Catalonia and the Community of Madrid filed more than half of all patent applications at the EPO originating from Spain.

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Spanish companies and inventors submitted 2,111 European patent applications in 2023, almost 7% more than in 2022

Catalonia and the Community of Madrid filed more than half of all patent applications at the EPO originating from Spain

   MADRID, 19 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) -

Spanish companies and inventors filed 2,111 European patent applications last year, 6.9% more than the previous year, according to the 2023 Patent Index of the European Patent Office (EPO) published this Tuesday.

The EPO received a total of 199,275 applications from companies and inventors around the world in 2023, an increase of 2.9% compared to 2022. Patent applications, which are filed to help protect and commercialize inventions, They are an early indicator of organizations' R&D investments.

"Our latest Patent Index shows strong growth in innovation around the world in 2023. The EPO was tasked with examining more applications than ever, attesting to both the attractiveness of the European technology market and the high quality and reliability of European patents," said the president of the EPO, António Campinos.

Campinos assures that European small and medium-sized companies "are increasingly resorting to patents" and last year the percentage of applications submitted by SMEs "reached its highest level."

These companies can also now benefit from the new Unitary Patent, which significantly improves the environment for innovation in Europe, providing a simpler and more cost-effective option to protect inventions and facilitate their access to the broad EU market.

The Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) has once again been the first Spanish patent applicant in the EPO (with 80 applications submitted). For their part, Amadeus, Multiverse Computing and Telefónica stand out as the private companies with the most patent applications last year.

Of all the autonomous communities, Catalonia was the one that registered the highest share (34.6%) with 731 patent applications at the EPO in 2023, increasing by 13.2% compared to the previous year.

The Community of Madrid ranked second in the regional ranking, with 404 applications and a share of 19.1%, although the region experienced a slight decrease of -1.9% compared to last year. Catalonia and Madrid filed more than half of all patent applications at the EPO originating from Spain.

The Basque Country (with 262 patent applications) ranked third, followed by the Valencian Community (158), Navarra (135) and Andalusia (108). The greatest growth in 2023 among the regions with more than 100 applications corresponded to the regions of Navarra (27.4%), Catalonia (13.2%) and Valencia (9%).

Catalonia is also among the top 20 EU regions in patent applications at the EPO. Specifically, it ranked 18th and is the only Spanish region included in this list.

By city, Barcelona leads the Spanish ranking in 2023, with 345 European patent applications compared to 295 in Madrid. This reverses the situation in 2022, in which Madrid topped the ranking of cities, with 280 applications compared to 272 for Barcelona. Both cities registered extensive growth, especially Barcelona (26.8%).

In Spain, the technological field with the most patent applications in Europe (189) was once again pharmaceuticals, despite a drop of -2.1% compared to 2022. Machinery, appliances and electrical energy, a field that includes related inventions with clean energy technologies, such as batteries, remains in second place with 159 patent applications (-2.5%).

Biotechnology grew 6.1% compared to the previous year, moving to third place on the list and displacing medical technology to fourth place, which fell 14.3%.

The biosciences, which include pharmaceuticals, medical technology and biotechnology, continue to represent almost a quarter of all patent applications from Spain, as can be seen from the recent EPO study 'Patents and innovation against cancer', in which Spain appears in the top 10 in terms of inventions related to the fight against cancer.

Civil engineering is one of the important sectors that has experienced the greatest growth in the last year, since patent applications submitted to the EPO in this area grew by 44.6%, making it the technological field with the greatest growth.

Other relevant sectors that have experienced great growth are the chemical industry of basic materials (41.5%) and engines, pumps and turbines (39.8%).

This year's Patent Index also looks at women's contribution to innovation. Of all the patent applications submitted to the EPO last year from Spain, 46% included at least one woman among the inventors (link to the EPO website).

Spain thus heads the ranking of the twelve countries that file the most patents (with more than 2,000 applications per year), and well above the average of 27% of those that make up the 39 member states of the EPO.

By technological sectors, the proportion of patent applications from Europe in which at least one woman inventor is named ranges between 14% on average in mechanical engineering and 50% in chemistry.

"This data can help address the gaps that remain to be overcome to unlock the full potential of women inventors," highlights the European Patent Office.