Statistics of the EPO and the German Patent and Trademark Office

  • European Patent Office


Proceedings before the EPO (first instance proceedings)


The number of patent filings with the EPO has grown in the last year by 4.4% to a total number of 310 784. 
78% of these filings were PCT applications. The remaining filings were EP applications. The number of EP applications has grown by 3.9% to a total number of 165 590.


The number of granted patents has increased by 10.1% to a total number of 105 635 patents. The number of European examinations performed were 153 858. The number of searches performed were 247 503.


The number of oppositions has slightly decreased to 4072. Thus, 3.7% of the patents have been opposed. In the opposition proceedings, in 27% of the cases the patent has been revoked, 42% have been maintained in amended form, and in 31% of the cases the oppositions have been rejected.


Proceedings before the Boards of Appeal


In 2017, 2798 technical appeals were filed. 2284 of the technical cases have been settled. At the end of 2017 8896 technical appeals were pending, which are 515 more cases than the year before. 61.4% of the new cases were inter partes cases (opposition proceedings) and 38.6% have been ex parte cases.


In 59.9% of the ex parte cases, the appeal was dismissed, and in 20.5% of the cases a patent was granted. In the remaining 19.6 % of the ex parte cases, the examination proceedings have been resumed. The ex parte proceedings have an average length of about 42 months. In 2016 this value was 40 months.


In 41.8% of the opposition cases, the appeal has been dismissed, in 2.8% the patent as granted has been maintained, in 21.8% of the cases the patent has been maintained in amended form and in 22.1% of the cases the patent has been revoked. The remaining 11.4% of the opposition cases have been referred back to the opposition division for a resumption of the opposition proceedings in the first instance. The opposition cases took in 2017 in average 35 months before the boards of appeal.


  • Proceedings before the German Patent and Trademark Office



Examination proceedings


The number of patent applications in Germany have been 67 707 (67 907 in 2016) including the entry of a PCT national phase. 36 768 examinations have been finished, whereas 15 689 patents have been granted, which is a grant rate of about 43% of the examined patent applications.


Further, 13 299 utility models applications have been filed, which is a decrease of 5.2% compared to 2015.


Opposition proceedings


In 2017, 375 oppositions have been filed compared to 416 in 2015. From 430 finalized cases, 140 (33%) patents have been revoked and in 229 (53%) cases the opposition have been rejected or the patent has been maintained in an amended form. The remaining patents have been abandoned or deemed to be abandoned due to non-payment of the annual fee.


Radiations proceedings (utility model)


The radiation proceedings are proceedings to declare a utility model void. In 2017, 104 requests for radiation of a utility model have been filed.




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