In his informative blog for Intellectual Asset Management Magazine, Joff Wild compares recent statistics from the European Patent Office and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The statistics suggest that companies are currently experiencing a more favorable patent application climate in Europe than in the United States. As Joff writes:
[The data] shows, not unexpectedly, that both applications to the EPO and grants made by the office are both higher than they were in 2005, at 207,300 and 62,780 respectively. Interestingly, although there was a 5% rise in applications, the number of grants increased by 17.9%; this at a time when grants made by the USPTO have been falling daramatically.
When selecting countries in which to seek patent protection, companies often struggle with the cost/benefit analysis for each country. Although factors such as customer locations, competitor locations, and strength of local patent laws are critical in this decision, another factor to consider is how much cost and time it will take to receive the patent. Because the European Patent Office provides a thorough examination process and is trending upward on patent grants, the statistics indicate that European patent filings can add significant value to many intellectual property portfolios.