Thursday March 14 2019

UK patent applications in Europe rise again

UK patent applications in Europe rise again

The volume of patent applications filed by UK businesses in Europe has risen again – further evidence of sustained investment in innovation activity. 

The Annual Report statistics released by the European Patent Office (EPO) show that patent applications originating in the UK rose by 7.8 percent to 5,736 in 2018; building on growth of 2.4 percent in 2017.  The UK has also retained its 3 percent share of total European patent applications. 

In fact, the increase in the volume of patent applications originating in the UK is above average compared to the overall increase in filings at the EPO, which rose by 4.6 percent to 174,317 in 2018. Of these, the largest number of applications originated in the US, Germany and Japan. The UK came 9th in the overall list of top-filing nations.  

Rolls-Royce was the top UK filer; filing 352 patent applications at the EPO in 2018. Consumer goods company, Unilever, was in second place, filing 289 patent applications. Other top UK filers included BT (166 patent applications), BAE Systems (162 patent applications) and GlaxoSmithKline (153 patent applications). The top-filing UK sectors were medical technology, computer technology and organic fine chemistry.  

Karl Barnfather, chairman of European intellectual property firm, Withers & Rogers, said: 

“This is a strong step up for the UK and indicates that businesses are continuing to focus on innovation activity, despite the challenging trading conditions. Whilst the headline figures are positive, there is still room for improvement however. Businesses in Germany are filing four times as many patent applications in Europe as businesses in the UK and France businesses in France are filing double. 

“Underlying the EPO’s latest statistics, there is a significant disparity in UK investment in R&D, compared to other nations. In the UK, investment in R&D equates to 1.7% of GDP  - significantly lower than in Germany, where it is 2.9% of GDP, the US where it is 2.7% of GDP and France where it is 2.2% of GDP. The UK Government’s commitment to raise R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 is an attempt to close the gap, but the UK is playing catch up. 

“Further investment in R&D is needed to place the UK at the forefront of the current technological revolution, which is bringing sweeping cross-industry changes.” 

For reference: 

The EPO’s Annual Report: https://www.epo.org/about-us/annual-reports-statistics/annual-report/2018.html 

"Further investment in R&D is needed to place the UK at the forefront of the current technological revolution, which is bringing sweeping cross-industry changes."
Karl Barnfather

DISCLAIMER: The statements, opinions, views and advice expressed in this article are those of the author/organisation and not of ENTIRELY. This article should represent information correct at the time of publication however whilst every care has been taken to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. ENTIRELY will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article or any information accessed through this site. The content of any organisations websites which you link to from ENTIRELY are entirely out of the control of ENTIRELY, and you proceed at your own risk. These links are provided purely for your convenience and do not imply any endorsement of or association with any products, services, content, information or materials offered by or accessible to you at the organisations site.

Entirely Tech Jobs

Senior Business Development Manager - Technology & IP

Central London

A dynamic and forward thinking international law firm have an exciting role at senior management level within their business development team.

Interim Management-Technology Recruitment

City of London

My client is a leading global search firm with an established interim management practice.

Interim Management-Senior Technology/Data Recruitment

City of London

My client is a leading global search firm enjoying impressive growth with an established interim management practice.

Researcher/Resourcer Executive Search Technology/PE/VC clients

Central London

My client is a division of a highly respected Executive Search firm focussing on the PE/VC marketplace.

PE Technology Executive search Director

Central London

My client is a division of a highly regarded global Tier 1 search firm specialising in the Private equity backed market place.

Accounts Payable Lead Technology

City of London

My client is one of the fastest growing VC-backed technology companies in Europe and is now changing the industry it specialises in with its leading technology.

Senior Technology Underwriter


The role This insurer has been providing insurance solutions to technology clients since 1994 and we have grown a substantial book of business to date.

Recruitment Team Leader for a leading Technology Brand!

South East London

Could you be our next ERP Recruitment Team Lead? You will; Manage and mentor your own recruitment team, train, develop and nurture new members.

IT Delivery Manager

City Of London

My financial services client is seeking a Technical Commercial Delivery Manager to join the Technology Department and join the Real Time Gross Settlements Programme, reporting both Technology and operationally into the Programme.

Lecturer in Creative Media Production and Technology (0.8)

South West London

Lecturer in Creative Media Production and Technology - Film Making & Visual Effects (0.

Talent Acquisition Manager - IT & Technology


We have a career-enhancing opportunity within a Global Multinational with close to 10,000 employees worldwide, and revenues in excess of $10 Billion p/year.

Assistant Tax Manager - Media & Technology - Top 10 firm


Do you want to work with interesting media and technology clients?Craving a role with a real mix of client facing advisory work?Do you want the autonomy of working from home? I am recruiting a great front end taxation role working closely with two excellent dynamic tax Partners on clients ranging from advertising, film makers, and music production to fin tech businesses.

International B2B Marketing Manager Technology/Product

Central London

International B2B Marketing Manager (Technology/Product) Minimum 3 months: £55000 - £75000 Client will consider candidates with up to 1 months noticeClosing date: Tuesday 13th August @ 9am  Reed Marketing & Creative is currently partnering with a globally recognised SaaS company who are recruiting an interim Senior Ma.

Sales Development Representative - Technology - Central London

City Of London

Sales Development Represenatative Technology Central London The role and companyAs a Sales Executive you will be required to generate opportunities for the field sales team.

Technology Sales - Cyber Security Sales

City of London

Technology Sales - Global Leading Cyber Security Firm - Sales Development Representative This is an exciting time within the cyber-security industry, with the ever-growing nature of cyber-attacks and the demand for safe and secure data greater than ever, the importance of this channel has never been bigger.

Principle Technology Partner - Data Exploitation


This is an opportunity for a skilled individual to enhance their current skillset and knowledge working in a dynamic environment.

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Technology Recruitment

Central London

Are you looking to work at the very top of the Information Technology recruitment industry? Would you work for a company that is winning awards for its training and development programme? Does the idea of working on a high octane sales floor excite you?Would you like to work with international clients.


MYHSM Collaborates With Equinix

In a development which reinforces its position as a worldwide service provider, MYHSM Ltd., the global provider of Payment Hardware Security Modules HSMs as a Service, announces a collaboration with Equinix, the global interconnection and data centre company

Discover the latest Industry News & Opinions on Entirely

We transform your bright ideas into brilliant digital products.