Patent filings remain steady from ‘resilient’ Scottish firms

Tim Hargreaves

The number of Scottish filings made to the European Patent Office (EPO) remained steady in 2016 – and Marks & Clerk said this demonstrates the country’s resilience in a period of economic uncertainty.

The EPO’s recently-released annual report shows 7,226 applications came from the UK (a 1.8 per cent increase on 2015).  Of those, 247 came from Scotland, compared with 246 in 2015.

The intellectual property specialist believes the statistics demonstrate that innovation is continuing to thrive in Scotland.

Tim Hargreaves, chartered (UK) and European patent attorney, and partner, at Marks & Clerk’s Edinburgh office, said: “The fact we did not see a dip in the number of Scottish patent filings last year is welcome news indeed given the uncertainty of 2016.

“Particularly in the wake of the EU referendum, uncertainty was arguably at an all-time high and headlines were awash with doom-and-gloom economic forecasts and predictions of weak business investment.

“However, Scotland is famed for innovation and these statistics show that our companies remain committed to growth and development, and continue to recognise the importance of protecting the fruits of their innovation overseas.”

In technology fields, the figures for the whole of the UK showed transport saw the highest number of patent applications (354) followed closely by medical technology (339) and measurement (320).  computer technology (310) and digital communication (278) also featured in the top five.

Rolls-Royce Plc filed most patents (372) followed by Unilever Nv/Plc (237) and British Telecom (177).

Full details on the report can be found here.