Sunday, 10 March 2013

Let's get real

The EPO have published more self-justificatory statistics.

The press release here states “Europe consolidates its position as strong technology region” and justifies this in part with a statement “36.5% of all filings came from the 38 EPO member states (2011: 37.5%)”.  So the percentage filed by Europeans drops and this is “consolidation”?

The press release also states “The number of patent filings at the EPO originating from the 38 EPO member states reached a new peak in 2012, beating the previous record set in 2008.”. A 1.4% increase by European applicants is compared with a 6.6% increase by no-Europeans and indicated as a success. 

As mentioned in the post of 24th January, the number claimed by the EPO as the number of applications received by them appears to be the sum of Euro-direct and PCT filings, regardless of where filed.

To consider how Europe is doing it makes more sense to look to who shows real interest in Europe, those who file direct Europeans or Euro-PCT applications. The table below shows the annual total of these filings with the number of grants. Filings up to about 2008 were growing roughly linearly. Since 2008 there has been stagnation. 2012’s filings are not the highest ever. The blue-grey wedge shows the difference between the pre-2008 trendline and current filings. 

European patent filings are stagnating.  Given economic circumstances this is not surprising, but what are not helpful are panglossian press releases 

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