According to the latest statistics released by the European Patent Office (EPO) on April 5, 16,665 patent applications from China were received in 2021, setting a new high in the number of Chinese patent applications at the EPO, a YoY increase of 24%, the highest increase among the 30 major patent application countries. 

Why it matters 

In 2021, the EPO received 188,600 patent applications, a 4.5% increase over the previous year. The United States, Germany, Japan, China, and France are the top five patent filers. The EPO’s increase in the number of patent applications submitted in 2021 was mostly driven by applications from China and the United States. 

In terms of enterprise rankings, Huawei ranks first in the number of EPO’s patent applications in 2021, with 3,544 patents, ahead of South Korean companies Samsung and LG. Some Chinese companies, such as OPPO, ZTE, Baidu, Xiaomi and Tencent, are also in the top 50 of this ranking. 


According to the EPO, patent applications in digital communications and computer technology grew rapidly in 2021, indicating that industries are undergoing a digital transformation, and pharmaceutical technology and biotechnology continue to thrive. Owners can get patent protection in the markets of EPO’s member countries. 

Aidan Kendrick, the chief business analyst at the EPO, told Xinhua News Agency that the number of patent applications received by the EPO from China has increased fourfold in the past decade.