For the first time in the history of the European Patent Office, a Chinese company, Huawei, became the leader in 2017 by number of patents applied for in Europe: 2,398 in total.
The second place in the ranking was for a European company, Siemens, with 2,220 applied for patents, which represents an increase of 18.7%. Siemens has passed in a year from the sixth to the second place.
The third company with the most patents applications in Europe was another Asian company, the Korean LG, with 2,056 patents ordered (11.1% less than the previous year), according to the data published in the annual report of the EPO.
Among the ten most active companies when applying for European patents, there are four European companies (Siemens is joined by Royal Philips, Robert Bosch and Ericsson), three from the United States (Qualcomm, United Technologies and Intel), two Korean (LG and Samsung) and one Chinese (Huawei).
The following chart shows the first 20 companies in the ranking:
Among the hundred companies with the most patents applications during 2017, which are shown in the following interactive table, no Spanish company appears:
The most active Spanish companies or entities when applying for European patents during 2017 were the Higher Council for Scientific Research of Spain (CSIC), the Tecnalia Research & Innovation Foundation and Laboratorios del Dr. Esteve, as shown in The following graphic:
Most active sectors
Medical technology was the most active field of European patents in 2017 with a total of 13,090 applications, 6.2% more than the previous year.
The second most active area was digital communication, where 11,694 applications were registered, 5.7% more than in 2016.
IT, the electric power sector and transportation were the three most active fields. The greatest relative growth among the 10 main fields occurred in the biotechnology sector, with an increase of 14.5%.
In Spain, the largest number of applications for European patents occurred in the field of fine organic chemistry (138 in total), as shown by the following graph produced by Statista:
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