Digital technologies take top spot in European patent applications, according to the EPO Patent Index 2019
Patent statistics published today by the European Patent Office (EPO) show that for the first time in more than a decade digital technologies have taken the lead in patent applications filed. According to the EPO Patent Index 2019, the surge in the fields of digital communication (+19.6%) and computer technology (+10.2%) is fuelling the sustained growth in patent filings: In 2019, the EPO received well over 181 000 applications in total, 4% more than in 2018 and a new all-time high.
5G and AI as drivers of growth
Among the top technical fields at the EPO, digital communication and computer technology saw the steepest growth, highlighting their key role in driving the digital transformation that is permeating all sectors and industries. Patent applications in digital communication grew by 19.6% in 2019, overtaking medical technology (+0.9%), which had been the most patent-active technology since 2006. This field, which lies at the intersection of telecommunications and computers, includes technologies that are crucial to implementing 5G wireless networks.