The number of patent and trademark applications in Germany was at a record level last year. Especially from abroad, more and more trademarks and patents are registered with the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA). In the field of autonomous driving, German companies continue to lead the way.
Number of patent applications remains high
The number of patent applications received by the DPMA remained high in 2017. With 67,707 registrations, the previous year’s record was narrowly missed. However, there were +3.2% more examination procedures opened compared to the previous year. In addition, more examination procedures were completed (+ 2.8%). In the completed examination proceedings (36,768), the DPMA granted a total of 15,653 new patents in 2017.
The total number of active German patents stood at 128,921 at the end of 2017. In addition there are actually 528,193 European patents granted for the German territory.
|Patent applications||67 907||67 707||-0.3%|
|completed examination proceedings||35 762||36 768||+2.8%|
|Patents granted||15 652||15 653||+0.0%|
|opened examination proceedings||44 982||46 419||+3.2%|
|Stock||129 548||128 921||-0.5%|
German patents also remain attractive for foreign applicants. 14,736 applications from abroad correspond to an increase of 3.3% compared to the previous year. Most of the DPMA’s foreign applications came from Japan, followed by the US and Korea.
Autonomous driving: Audi with a leading role
German companies underpin their strong role in technology development for autonomous driving. In total, 2,633 patents were filed in this area last year, a significant increase of 14 percent. The most applications filed the car maker Audi. On the ranks two and three follow Toyota and Volkswagen.
At the end of 2017, 42% of the autonomous driving patents in Germany were owned by German companies. They are followed by Japanese (28%) and American companies (11%).
Transportation continues to be the technology field with the most annual new patent applications including the automotive industry and its suppliers. The three companies that were most active in applicating new patents last year were Robert Bosch GmbH, Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG and Ford Global Technologies LLC.
|Field of technology (Sector)||2016||2017||Change|
|Transport (engineering)||10 518||11 469||+9.0%|
|Electrical machinery and equipment, electrical energy (electrical engineering)||7 001||7 209||+3.0%|
|Mechanical engineering||6 790||6 247||-8.0%|
|Measurement technique||4 579||4 911||+7.3%|
|Engines, pumps, turbines (mechanical engineering)||5 151||4 570||-11.3%|
German trademark registrations at record level
Intellectual property rights for trademarks were once again strongly in demand in 2017. 72,024 registered trademarks at the DPMA even represent an increase of + 3.8% compared to 2016. The count of active trademarks in Germany at the end of 2017 is 811,478.
|Trademark registrations||69 395||72 042||+3.8%|
|Completed registration procedures||75 483||71 096||-5.8%|
|Registrations||52 196||50 944||-2.4%|
|Stock||804 662||811 478||+0.8%|
The progressive internationalization of the economy is also noticeable in the case of trademark applications: 4 592 trademarks registered from abroad correspond to a strikingly increase of + 12.8%. In particular chinese applicants are increasingly seeking to protect their trademarks for the German market (+ 43.2%).
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Merck KGaA and Daimler AG are the companies with the most trademark registrations in 2017.
Number of design applications and utility model applications decreasing
With 6932 applications (44 287 designs), there were significantly fewer design applications in 2017 than in the previous year (-22.4%). In 2016, the DPMA received 7197 design applications (57,057 designs).
Also in the field of utility models there is a trend of declining registration numbers: 13 299 newly registered utility models signify a decrease of -5.2%.
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