European patent applications from Switzerland increased by nearly 4% in 2021

Today, the European Patent Office published its patent application statistics for 2021. In 2021, European patent applications with Swiss origin increased by 3.9%. Switzerland also remains the undisputed front-runner with regard to patent applications per person. The patent filing statistics are a clear proof of Switzerland’s innovative power!

In 2021, a total of 8’442 patent applications with Swiss origin were filed with the European Patent Office: An increase of 3.9% compared to 2020 with 8’125 patent applications. After Germany with an increase of 0.3% in 2021 and France with a drop of -0.7% in 2021, Switzerland consolidates its position as number three filing nation in Europe – notably before «bigger nations» such as the Netherlands with 6’581 applications in 2021 (increase of 3.1%) and the United Kingdom with 5’627 applications (decrease of -1.2%).

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With 968.6 patent applications per one million inhabitants, Switzerland clearly defended its number one position as the country with the most patent applications per person followed by Sweden with half the number of applications per capita, namely 487.6.

The top three filing companies based in Switzerland are: Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd with 633 patent applications followed by ABB Ltd with 522 applications and bronze medalist Japan Tobacco International with 495 patent applications.

The top technology fields of the Swiss patent applications in 2021 were «computer technology» with an increase of 20.3% (total applications 225) followed by «medical technology» with 18.5% more patent applications (857 in 2021 compared to 723 in 2020). On the negative side, the drop of -22.6% patent applications in the biotechnology sector is striking (390 applications in 2021, 504 in 2020):

Table Patents

(Source: European Patent Office, Patent Index 2021)

Detailed information on the 2021 Patent Index can be found here:

About the author: Dr. Raphael Nusser, LL.M., is Attorney at Law and Innosuisse Special Coach IP and Licensing.
About prins: PRINS stands for our mission statement: PRotecting INnovation in Switzerland. As experienced patent & trademark attorneys and attorneys at law with offices in Zurich, Argovia and Geneva, we support you with the protection, exploitation, enforcement and defence of your intellectual property in Switzerland and abroad. Our strength lies in interdisciplinary thinking: we combine law and technology.

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