Spanish innovation continues to grow, but it has a long way to go
Only Huawei registered more patents than the whole of Spain as a whole.
Spanish innovation continues to show signs of strength in 2019, according to the European Patent Office (EPO). Last year, patent applications grew 6% compared to the previous year and represented the fifth consecutive year with increases.
However, the figures still are low. Huawei, which tops the list, registered more patents than all of Spain as a whole, according to the 2019 EPO Patent Index.
Specifically, there were 1,887 requests of a patent by Spanish companies and researchers, thus placing its growth above the average of the 38 Member States of the EPO, which was limited to 1.1%, and reaching an increase of 28% compared to five years previous.
The technological lead the record of requests: Huawei, Samsung and LG take the top three spots. In Spain, the pharmaceutical industry leads applications with the growth of 2.5%, followed by transport, which includes the automotive sector, with an increase of 23.7%, and medical technology, which registered a rise of 10,3%.
However, academic institutions are what drives growth. With 34 applications, the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) was once again the first patent applicant in Spain, followed by the Tecnalia Research & Innovation Foundation (26), Telefónica (23), Esteve Laboratories (20), Delphi Metal ( 19), the Autonomous University of Barcelona (14), ICFO – Institute of Photonic Sciences (12), and Repsol (11).
By region, Catalonia was the region with more instances, with a share of 34.2% of the total, followed by the Community of Madrid (19.2%) and the Basque Country (10.3%). Aragon, for its part, was the one that grew the most in 2019, going from 40 patent applications in 2018 to 133 in 2019, which represents an advance of 232.5%.
The EPO received more than 181,000 patent applications in 2019, which means an increase of 4% compared to 2018. The top five countries were the United States (25% of the total), followed by Germany (15%), Japan (12%), China (7%), and France (6%).