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Created 30 March 2021
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2020: Strong growth in healthcare and life sciences.

Patent filings at the EPO reflect the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on different technology fields. Sharp falls in some sectors have been countered by surges elsewhere, with medical technologies in the lead and major growth in both pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

Insights 2020

Demand for European patents stable.

In 2020, the EPO received 180 250 applications, just 0.7% down on 2019 despite the pandemic. However, this conceals contrasting trends, with falls in demand for patent applications from some countries and in some technologies offset by growth elsewhere. The picture is complex and deserves closer inspection. One thing is certain: the economic impact of the coronavirus is only beginning to be seen through patent filings.

The 2020 ranking reflects continued growth in demand for European patents from China and South Korea. Samsung tops the table, ahead of Huawei, which led the ranking in 2019, and LG in third place. The top 10 includes five companies from Europe (the highest number since 2014), two from South Korea, and one from China, Japan and the US respectively.

Top technology fields

As the digital transformation of the economy accelerates, Europe remains a robust technology market. Having soared in 2019, digital communication and computer technology made more modest gains last year. Medical technology returned to top spot (+2.6%), while pharmaceuticals and biotechnology surged, up +10.2% and +6.3% respectively. In 2020, the top ten fields accounted for almost 55% of all European patent applications.

Created 16 March 2021
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Microsoft receives patent for UAV en route product delivery system Microsoft has recently received a patent for its UAV en route product delivery system. The system disclosed in the patent enables drones to deliver various products to a vehicle which is moving from one location to another. (Source – Autoevolution)


Created 09 March 2021
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Labelmakers Group has secured the rights for the worldwide patented RecuLiner technology for Australia and New Zealand, creating a local circular solution for recycling glassine liner from pressure-sensitive labels that would otherwise go to landfill.

The RecuLiner technology allows the conversion of glassine liner into insulation products for the commercial and residential building industry, with scope for other market applications as well. (Full article on Packaging News)

Created 25 May 2020
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Can AI be an inventor? According to a recent decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the answer seems to be no. There is more to this story, though, and we’ll need to push past the surface to understand the full nuances involved. Perhaps a more apt way to depict the situation is whether AI can be formally granted a U.S. patent, and for that the answer appears to unequivocally and emphatically be a razor-sharp no. The difference being that presumably anyone or anything could be an “inventor” if you are using the word “inventor” in a casual and offhanded manner. (Read more on Forbes)
Created 27 April 2020
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in April was the launch of the opposition procedure before the French Patent Office (“Institut National de la Propriété Intellectuelle” or “INPI”). This procedure is a new way to challenge the validity of a French patent, alongside the claim for invalidity. Opposition may be filed against any French patent which mention of grant has been published in the Official Bulletin of Industrial Property as of 1st April 2020. On the face of it, this "French-style" opposition procedure seems relatively similar to that of the EPO.
Created 14 April 2020
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Het aantal octrooi-aanvragen van Belgische bedrijven, universiteiten en onderzoeksinstellingen bij het Europees Octrooibureau (EOB) is in 2019 met 3,2% gestegen tot 2.423, het hoogste aantal ooit. Dat blijkt uit de “Patent Index s2013” die het EOB vandaag heeft gepubliceerd. Dit is het tweede opeenvolgende jaar van groei, na een daling in 2017. De stijging van het aantal octrooi-aanvragen in België ligt ruim boven de gemiddelde groei van 0,9% in de 28 EU-lidstaten.

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