TMCnet News

Patent Index 2023: Japan ranks 3rd for inventions in Europe
[April 12, 2024]

Patent Index 2023: Japan ranks 3rd for inventions in Europe

MUNICH, April 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the Patent Index 2023 published today by the European Patent Office (EPO), Japan was the 3rd most active country filing European patent applications, after the United States and Germany. In 2023, Japanese companies and inventors filed 21 520 applications at the EPO (-0.4% compared to 2022), accounting for 10.8% of the EPO total. The number of European patent applications from Japan has remained stable over the past few years (2022: 21 594; 2021: 21 672). In total the EPO received 199 275 patent applications in 2023 from around the world, an increase of 2.9%, and the highest number ever.

The electrical machinery, apparatus, and energy sector is Japan's most active field in inventions with a total of 2 003 applications filed in 2023. Six Japanese companies were among the most active filers for patents at the EPO's in this sector: Panasonic (No. 6 with 286 applications), Hitachi (11th, 169), Mitsubishi (18th,116), Prime Planet Energy & Solutions (20th,95), Toyota (23rd, 74) and Toshiba (24th, 66). In the area of battery technology, Japanese companies make up five of the top 15 innovating companies filng patents with the EPO.

The second and third biggest fields for inventions originating from Japan were computer technology and transport, which both saw fewer applications last year from Japanese firms. Sony was No. 8 at the EPO among all firms in computer technology in 2023. Despite Japanese companies filing fewer patent applications in transport, Japanese carmakers remained among the most active firms filing vehicle-related patent applications at the EPO in 2023. Toyota filed 106 applications in that field (out of a total of 382 patent applications at the EPO), Nissan filed 65 (out of 165), Suzuki filed 42 (out of 93), Honda filed 13 (out of 82) and Mazda filed 22 (out of 60) (See chart Patent applications at the EPO from leading carmakers 2023).

Growth in patent applications in a wide range of technologies

Other sectors which saw growth in filings for patents from Japan with the EPO include digital communication, which covers technologies related to mobile networks (+4.2%), measurement,  which includes sensor technologies (+1.6%) and materials/metallurgy (+2.8%). There was also strong growth from Japan in some smaller technology fields such as surface technology (+27.5%) textile and paper machines (+10.4%), and semiconductors (+6.4%).

Sony was the 10th most active patent applicant at the EPO for the second year in a row. Among Japan's top applicants Sony (with 1 213 applications) was followed by Panasonic (974), Canon (679), Fujifilm (678), Hitachi (616), Mitsubishi Electric (518) NTT Corporation (513) and Daikin (464). These eight Japanese companies also appear among the EPO's Top 50.

Tokyo leads in patent applications

Of the 21 520 patent applications filed with the EPO by companies and inventors from Japan in 2023, 11 833 (or some 55%) came from the Tokyo prefecture. Tokyo was also the second most active region for European patent applications, just after the state of California. Next in the ranking of Japanese prefectures for the most European patent applications were Osaka (2 999), Kanagawa (1 324), Aichi (1 187) and Kyoto (1 051).



Cision View original content:

[ Back To's Homepage ]