The Europeans Patent Office says its patent filings increased in 2011 to 243,000, up 3 percent from 2010. In turn, the office granted more than 62,000 patents last year. Of those, 62 percent of all filings came from outside Europe, with U.S. applications totaling 24 percent; Japanese applications,19 percent; and Chinese applications, 7 percent.
The EPO is not part of the European Union, but with 38 member countries, it “offers the closest thing currently available to an EU-wide patent,” Businessweek.com reported.
Those wishing to best manage their intellectual property should consider the markets they will be selling in and file patents within them.