European Patent Office

Poland files record number of patent applications with the European Patent Office

EPO President Benoît Battistelli presents the 2015 annual results at a press conference in Brussels on 3 March 2016.

  • Patents applications at the European Patent Office grew by 17,8% in 2015
  • Academic institutions are key driver of Polish growth
  • Politechnika Gdanska and Akademia Gorniczo-Hutnicza head list of top Polish patent applicants
  • Mazovian region leads Polish regional ranking


Patent applications from Poland at the European Patent Office (EPO) grew by 17.8% in 2015, one of the highest growth rates in Europe and well above the EU 28 average growth rate of 0.3%. Last year Polish research institutions and companies filed 568 patent applications with the EPO (2014: 482), the highest number in ten years. The number of European patents granted to Polish companies and inventors grew by a record 39% to 150, equally the highest figure in ten years.

The overall number of European patent applications at the EPO in 2015 rose to 160 000 (2014: 153 000, +4.8%). This increase was fuelled mainly by companies from the US (+16.4%) and China (+22.2%), whilst the volume of applications originating from the 38 EPO member states remained almost stable last year (+0.7%). The top five countries of origin were the US, Germany, Japan, France and the Netherlands.

The remarkable growth in patent applications at the EPO proves that Europe continues to be a hub for innovators from all over the world, and an attractive technology market,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. “It reflects the interest of businesses and inventors in opting for high-quality patent protection for the European market.” He added: “Despite the impressive growth in applications from outside Europe, the balance of the number of patent applications made by European companies in other regions remains clearly positive, which underlines the innovative potential of the European economy.

Pharmaceuticals with strongest growth

Within the 10 most important technology fields at the EPO, applications from Poland grew strongest in Pharmaceuticals (+222%), Organic fine chemistry (+105%), and Basic materials chemistry (+100%). The main technologies with the most patent applications overall were Organic fine chemistry (8% share), Civil engineering (7%), and Measurement (6%).

Unique: 5 academic institutions among top 10 patent applicants

With 23 applications, Politechnika Gdanska was Poland’s most active patent applicant at the EPO, followed by Akademia Gorniczo-Hutnicza (22), and International Tobacco Machinery (14). In place 5 and 6 there are two further academic institutions: Politechnika Lodzka (11), and Politechnika Poznanska (10). With Uniwersytet W Szczecinie in 8th place, there are 5 academic institutions among the Polish top 10 applicants with the EPO, making them the key drivers for inventions in Poland.

Mazovian region with most patent applications

The Mazovian region leads the Polish regional ranking with a share of 26% of all Polish patent applications, ahead of Lesser Poland (14%) and the Pomeranian region (12%). In the city ranking, Warsaw is in lead with 114 patent applications, ahead of Krakow (50), Gdansk (35), Poznan (32), and Lodz (28).

Varied activity across Europe

There were marked differences in patenting activity among European countries at the EPO in 2015: Italy reversed the negative trend of the past four years (with +9% more applications in 2015), as did Spain (+3.8%). The UK (+5.7%), like the Netherlands (+3.3%) and Switzerland (+2.6%) all continued their growth in applications. Other countries including France (+1.6%), Austria (+1.4%) and Sweden (-0.9%) remained more or less at the level of the previous year, while applications from Germany dropped again (-3.2%), and some Nordic states such as Finland (-8.3%) and Denmark (-2.7%) also had fewer applications.

Medical technology, Digital coms and Computers are top fields

Medical technology was once again the field with the highest number of patent applications at the EPO in 2015, growing by a further 11% over 2014. Other areas which showed significant growth were “Engines, pumps and turbines” (+18%) (where many patent applications in clean energies are also filed), “Pharmaceuticals” (+10%), “Measurement” (+8%) and “Computers” (+8%).

Philips no. 1 in company ranking

Philips moved into the top spot in the list of companies with the most patent applications at the EPO in 2015. Samsung ranked second, followed by LG, Huawei and Siemens. The top 10 was made up of four companies from Europe, three from the US, two from Korea and one from China.

For detailed statistics, and a report on activities in 2015, see the EPO’s annual report at: