Japan Data

EPO Patent Applications: Japan Remains Third Despite Tough Competition from China

Economy Science Technology

In 2022, the European Patent Office received a record-high 193,460 filings. By country, Japan placed third again behind the United States and Germany for number of filings, but its total dropped slightly, and China showed another strong increase in fourth place.

According to the Patent Index 2022 announced by the European Patent Office, there were a record high 193,460 international patent applications filed with it, up 2.5% from the previous year.

Japan continued to rank third behind the United States and Germany; however, its filings decreased by 0.4% year-on-year to 21,576 and marked the fourth consecutive year the figure had dropped. China placed fourth and is proving tough competition for Japan as it had a year-on-year increase of 15.1%. Over the last five years, it has more than doubled its number of filings.

By technical field, Japan made 2,100 applications for electrical machinery, apparatus, energy; 1,341 for transport; and 1,222 for digital communication.

Number of Patents Filed with the EPO in 2022 by Country

Country Number filed (year-on-year change)
United States 48,088 (+2.9%)
Germany 24,684 (-4.7%)
Japan 21,576 (-0.4%)
China 19,041 (+15.1%)
France 10,900 (+1.9%)
South Korea 10,367 (+10.0%)
Switzerland 9,008 (+5.9%)
Netherlands 6,806 (+3.5%)
Britain 5,697 (+1.9%)
Sweden 5,036 (+1.8%)

Created by Nippon.com based on data from the European Patent Office.

Number of Patents Japan Filed with the EPO

Sony was the top Japanese company for filing for the seventh consecutive year. Compared with other companies worldwide, Sony’s placing had been gradually rising, having ranked eleventh in 2018, ninth in 2019, and eighth in both 2020 and 2021. In 2022, however, it dropped back to tenth place. Its filings accounted for less than a third of those filed by Huawei, which ranked top globally with 4,505 patent applications.

Top 10 Japanese Companies by Number of Patents Filed with the EPO 

Company Number filed
Sony 1,329
Panasonic 865
Hitachi 793
Canon 676
Fujifilm 571
Mitsubishi Electric 524
NTT Docomo 482
Toyota 445
Daikin 431
NEC 410

Created by Nippon.com based on data from the European Patent Office.

Global Top 10 Companies by Number of Patents Filed with the EPO

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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