Increase in new patent applications in 2021


Institutional Communication Service

25 April 2022

Switzerland is once again leading the way in new patent application submissions. The European Patent Office (EPO) has published its patent application statistics for 2021 link. European patent applications from Switzerland increased by 3.9% in 2021 link. Switzerland also remains the undisputed leader in patent applications per inhabitants. The patent filing statistics are a clear sign of Switzerland's innovative strength. 

In 2021, 8,442 Swiss patent applications were filed at the European Patent Office: an increase of 3.9% compared to 2020. After Germany with an increase of 0.3% in 2021 and France with a decrease of -0.7% in 2021, Switzerland consolidates its status as the third-largest filing nation in Europe ahead of larger countries such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. 

The top three companies based in Switzerland are Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, followed by ABB Ltd, and Japan Tobacco International. 

Andrea Foglia, technology transfer manager at USI, comments: "With 969 patent applications per million inhabitants, Switzerland has retained its number one position as the country with the most patent applications per inhabitants (link), followed by Sweden with half the number of applications per person. It is interesting to note the strong leap forward at the European level of digital technologies with +9.7% in computer technologies and +9.4% for digital communication. This trend is in line with the increasingly marked digitalisation of services and the ongoing 4.0 industrial revolution. At USI, more patents in this field are to be expected. Still, at the moment, the most important part of the new patent applications remains in the field of biotechnology, above all thanks to the affiliated institutes IRB and IOR".