Brussels, 09 Jul 2003
A newly published 'statistics in focus' report on science and technology from Eurostat shows that the total share of information technology related patent applications to the European Patent Office (EPO) from EU countries more than doubled during the 1990s.
In 1991, only 6.8 per cent of applications received by the EPO from within the EU were for information and communication technology (ICT) patents. By 2001 they had risen by a ratio of 2.3, with ICT patents accounting for 15.5 per cent of all applications. For applications received by the EPO from Japanese and US companies in the same period, the ratio was 1.3 and 2.0 times larger respectively.
Of the 9,421 ICT patent applications filed from the EU in 2001, over 90 per cent originated from just six countries: Germany (29.9 per cent), the UK (18.6 per cent), France (15.3 per cent), the Netherlands (10.4 per cent), Sweden (8.9 per cent), and Finland (7.5 per cent).
When analysing the number of patent applications per million inhabitants however, Finland emerges on top with 136 per million, followed by Sweden with 94 and the Netherlands with 62.
ICT patent applications to the EPO from acceding countries still accounts for a relatively small proportion of total applications. However, the percentage of total applications made in the ICT field was above the EU average of 15.5 per cent in Hungary (21.2 per cent), Cyprus (18.2 per cent) and Slovenia (17.9 per cent).
To read the Eurostat report, please