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EPO Patents by Country

Patents: The pro-swpat lobby like to claim that software patenting will benefit EU-based SMEs and the economy, instead of benefitting large, US-based companies.

It’s pretty trivial to show this up, however. Here’s the figures, based on FFII’s stats on EPO software patent applications by country of applicant (current as of 2003/11/15):

Country of applicant
Patents applied with EPO
US 22778 46.84%
(All EU countries combined) 11855 24.38%
JP 10580 21.76%
CA 1074 2.21%
IL 724 1.49%
AU 525 1.08%
KR 500 1.03%
SG 95 0.20%
NZ 73 0.15%
RU 66 0.14%
(all remaining countries) 357 0.73%

So, a whopping 46.84% of the patent applications on file with the European Patent Office were registered by US companies, not local inventors; and only 24.38% of the patent applications were from EU-based companies.

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