Patent applications increase 4.7% in the first half of the year due to the upturn in March, just before the entry into force of the New Patent Law

(Data from the SPTO on the first half聽of the year)

In the period from 2009-2016, the total number of patent applications in Spain has decreased by 23% from 3,712 to 2,849.

According to the data from the SPTO regarding the first half聽of the year, national patent applications have 聽now increased by 4.7% compared to the same period last year, following the upward trend that started in 2016.

This increase is due to the record number of patent applications (688) during March, just before the entry into force of the New Patent Law on 1 April.

According to Isern, this rebound in March is an indication of the uncertainty caused by the New Patent Law.

There have been 1,487 patent applications in Spain during the first half聽of 2017, which is 4.7% higher than during the same months of 2016. This follows the growth trend of the last two years, after a decrease that has ongoing聽since 2008. These figures are based on the analysis of the data published by the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO) up until June.

After analysing the data from January to June, we can see that the number of patents applied for are already rising in February, and the number of patents applied for in March is almost three times higher than in March 2016.

According to Jorge Isern, partner at聽Isern Patentes y Marcas, “These data clearly reflect the “fear” effect and uncertainty as a result of the entry into force of the New Patent Law on 1 April, which has caused many companies to speed up their projects in order to obtain patents, fearing that they would be denied under the framework of the new Law”.

The New Patent Law, which entered into force after 30 years of the previous Law, harmonised the granting requirements and proceedings with the majority of industrialised countries and is tailored to meet current needs, offers more security and more legal force.

The nine autonomous communities that have grown during these first six months with regards to national patent applications are, in order of growth, the Balearic Islands with an increase of 166%, La Rioja, with a聽150% increase, Cantabria, with聽61.5% and Navarra with 45.4%. These are followed by聽Arag贸n (35%), Castilla-Le贸n (21%), Castilla-La Mancha (19.3%), The Canary Islands (8.8%) and聽Andaluc铆a (0,4%).

Another nine autonomous communities have experienced a decrease in patent applications, among these being the Community of Madrid (with a decrease of 10%), Catalonia (with 26% fewer applications) or Asturias (with a decrease of 40% after a 100% increase last year). These communities represent 50% of the total number of applications until June.

Isern聽adds that聽“Nevertheless, this “fear” effect is questionable since the data show that the number of Patents from Spain applied for through the European Patent Convention has increased over the last few years and they exceed the number of Spanish Patent applications before the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office”.

Table of the number of patents applied for each month. First semester 2012 to 2017:

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

January

214

214

196

191

179

175

February

290

271

230

215

205

240

March

325

263

297

255

244

688

April

262

287

258

242

272

79

May

319

281

274

245

248

155

June

276

267

216

261

272

150

TOTAL

1686

1583

1471

1409

1420

1487

Table of the number of patents applied for by Autonomous Community, from January to June 2013 to 2017:

1st Sem. 2013

1st Sem. 2014

1st Sem. 2015

1st Sem. 2016

1st Sem. 2017

Autonomous Community
Andaluc铆a

222

247

202

243

244

Arag贸n

76

77

85

60

81

Asturias

23

18

12

25

15

Canary Islands

21

20

22

34

37

Cantabria

13

14

12

13

21

Castilla-La Mancha

35

30

41

31

37

Castilla-Le贸n

61

41

48

43

52

Catalonia

292

266

236

241

178

Valencian Community

186

148

155

197

166

Extremadura

14

12

30

19

12

Galicia

85

67

92

83

76

Balearic Islands

9

17

9

6

16

La Rioja

22

13

18

8

20

Madrid

279

287

240

242

217

Murcia

41

36

42

38

32

Navarra

47

39

28

22

32

Basque Country

88

83

77

60

45

Ceuta and Melilla

0

0

0

1

2

Non-resident

69

56

60

54

204

TOTAL

1583

1471

1409

1420

1487

Isern concludes that聽“companies are already recovering, in the office we have observed an increased interest in patenting innovations arising from these Spanish companies, but there is also growing interest in having technology information for their sector on an ongoing basis when evaluating and starting new projects, and even more so now with the New Patent Law, which unifies the patent granting system with prior novelty and inventive step examination. A parallel increase has also be noted in the number of legal聽disputes due to patent infringements.”