Austrian companies are innovative and are applying for an increasing number of patents. In 2013 the number of patent applications from Austria submitted to the European Patent Office rose by 6.5 percent. Accordingly, Austria ranks among the best in terms of inventiveness. On balance, 1,995 patent applications had their origin in Austria last year.
Samsung once again led the individual company rankings. The South Korean mobile telephony group submitted 2,833 applications in 2013 to the European Patent Office, followed by the German Siemens Group with 1,974 applications and the Dutch electronics giant Philips with a total of 1,839. The South Korean mobile phone producer LG was ranked fourth with 1,648 proposed patents, ahead of the German chemical company BASF with 1,577. Five of the ten most active companies were from Europe.
Among the top ten
Close two-thirds of the patent applications were submitted by large companies, 29 percent by small and medium-sized enterprises and 5.5 percent by universities and research institutions. In absolute terms, the USA leads the world, but Europe is ahead with respect to the number of patent applications in relation to population. Japan was the only non-European country among the top ten, ranking ninth with 177 patent applications per one million inhabitants. The top country is Switzerland with 832 applications per one million inhabitants, followed by Sweden (402), Finland (360), Denmark and the Netherlands (347 each) and Germany (328). Austria is rated seventh in the world with 243 patent applications per million inhabitants, ahead of Belgium (180), Japan and France (148). The USA only boasts 107 patent applications, less than South Korea and the EU-28 average (129 each). The world’s second largest economy did not perform well in this particular ranking: China submitted only three patent applications to the European Patent Office for one million Chinese, and Russia was even below that level with two applications.