The European Patent Office recently published its annual report. It shows that the number of European patent applications once again went up in 2018. In light of this constant growth it is safe to assume that a certain degree of knowledge about patents has become an essential part of doing business in the Netherlands. This is what made us decide to organise another ‘Find your way around the World of Patents' workshop.
More patent applications
The annual volume of European patent applications is still on the rise. In 2018, 4.6% more European patent applications were filed than the year before. The Netherlands has a major share in this figure, which furthermore went up. In terms of the number of applications, the Netherlands ranks fourth in Europe and eighth worldwide. It is not for nothing that we are referred to as 'one of the most innovative countries in the world' in many reports.
Patents: not just for multinationals
Within the Netherlands, large companies like Philips and ASML are responsible for the majority of applications. There is nothing new about that. What is striking though is that SMEs and start-ups have a major share in the total. In fact they have a 20% share in the European total. Contrary to popular belief, the world of patents no longer exclusively belongs to multinationals.
As a result of this constant growth, it is becoming increasingly important for innovative companies to have at least some basic knowledge of the World of Intellectual Property. On the one hand you can use patents to prevent your competitors from copying your innovation. On the other, when doing business, you will need to pay attention to the rights of others.
We are noticing that a lot of companies are not yet fully aware of this. On 18 June, we are organising a workshop in which I will explain the basics of patents for innovative companies.