Earlier this month the European Patent Office (EPO) published their Annual Review, and it appears that 2019 was a good year for patents.
The report shows that in 2019, the EPO received 181,406 European patent applications – a record number and up 4.0% from 2018, with a +3.3% growth in PCT applications and a +4.9% growth in direct EP applications. Furthermore, in 2019, the number of patent applications published by the EPO was up 8.0% compared to 2018.
At the EPO, 2019 also saw the launch of a new strategic plan (SP2023) designed to “improve future-readiness and sustainability”. Progress towards SP2023 in 2019 included expanding geographical coverage through a validation agreement with Georgia and seven reinforced partnership agreements with Ethiopia, Argentina, Malaysia, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil and ARIPO.
Innovators can hopefully be reassured that as they deal with the challenges of 2020 and beyond, European patents will continue to be a worthwhile investment for years to come.
“All of the achievements of 2019 have helped to make sure the European patent system serves European innovators and society, and is attractive also to other regions. And, importantly, these changes set us up to face the challenges of 2020 - and to face them successfully, with quicker decision making, more agile and collaborative structures, and digital preparations that have enabled our staff to work from home."