Investment in R&D always pays off, Spain breaks patent records in 2017

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Patent registration data has increased by 7.4% in Spain in 2017. At first glance, the result seems positive, as it is much higher than the increase in the average for European countries (2.2%). However, Spain continues to be far from the countries with the highest patent registration, which are the United States, Germany, Japan, France and China.

The degree of technological development of a society and its knowledge of the state of technology have proven to be key in the economic growth of nations. History shows us this and any technological innovation has an impact on improvements in production processes, improvements in product quality and on the well-being of society.

Thanks to patent systems, inventors have the rights to their findings for a specified period of time. It can be said that the patent system is a formula that allows the inventor to recover the effort and investment made in R&D. On the other hand, companies can also source new technologies by going to the patent market, although currently, more and more companies have their own R&D department.

Well, in the European Union, the body in charge of registering patents, the European Patent Office, has produced a report to check the status of the same. Let us remember that the European Patent Office is a European body whose function is to validate the patent applications that are presented in its registries. The European Patent Office not only deals with patents filed in European Union countries, it also covers patents filed in 10 other states that are not part of the European Union. And it is that the number of patents registered in a year is a good indicator to know the level of technological development of a nation.

Spain records historical figures

Among the data provided by the report of the European Patent Office, it should be noted that the number of patents registered in Spain was a record figure. Neither more nor less than 1,676 applications for registration were filed with the European Patent Office. A large part of this increase is due to the important role played by the Higher Council for Scientific Research, which after a fateful 2016 has launched a firm commitment to R & D & i.

After the Higher Council for Scientific Research we find more common organizations such as the Tecnalia Foundation, Esteve Laboratories, the Autonomous University of Barcelona or business giants such as Telefónica and Repsol.

Spanish patents mainly stand out in fields of science such as organic chemistry, drugs, electronic machinery, equipment and energy. However, there is a downside to the significant increase in patents. Spain is far from the most innovative countries, among which are: the United States, Germany, Japan and China.

China breaks in force

The case of China deserves special mention, which after brilliant advances in the field of innovation has removed Switzerland from the list made up of the five countries of reference in patents. In the Chinese case, much of the responsibility can be attributed to the Chinese company Huawei, a high-tech company that has been the one that has applied for the most patents in 2017. It is especially striking that Huawei surpasses traditional leaders in patent applications such as They were Philips, Siemens and Bosch.

For yet another year, the United States leads with a total of 42,300 applications, with Germany in second place with 25,490 applications and Japan closing the podium with 21,712 applications.

What is certain is that the struggle to achieve greater technological development will continue and the R&D departments of companies and scientific researchers will continue to battle for new patents that allow greater economic and social development, but also provide competitive advantages to business level.

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