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France Publishes 2011 Patent Applicant Rankings

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

04 May 2012

The French national institute for industrial property (INPI) has recently published details of the 2011 rankings for the country’s top patent applicants, based on the number of patents published last year.

According to INPI, 2011 is marked unusually “by big changes” in the top rankings, notably among the top three companies. While some companies submitted a significantly lower number of patent applications than the previous year, others realized large increases.

Among the top-ranked patent applicants are companies from the car industry, followed by businesses from the main industrial sectors, notably from the aerospace, telecommunications, electronic, cosmetic, chemical and energy industries.

The main industrial French groups investing in research are also well represented in the rankings, including France Telecom, Michelin, and L’Oréal, and French research organizations rose up the rankings.

The top twenty patent applicants submitted over 38% of the patents published last year.

Back in February, the institute recorded a significant increase last year in the overall number of patents registered by businesses in France, and confirmed that as many trademarks, designs and models had been registered in 2011 as in the previous year.

The French finance ministry underscored at the time that the observed trend is clear evidence that, within the context of the economic crisis, coupled with increased competition, notably from abroad, the protection of industrial property remains at the heart of a business’s innovation strategy.

The number of registered patents increased by 1.7% last year, with 12,619 patents registered by companies in France. The number of trademarks also increased, by 0.8% in 2011, with 91,214 trademarks registered, while the number of designs and models rose by 0.8%, to 80,977.

At international level, France is fifth in the world as regards spending on research and development, fourth in terms of the number of European registered patents, and sixth for applications via the international Patent Cooperation Treaty (with China and the Republic of Korea now ahead of France).

A public institution, INPI is placed under the auspices of the French economy, finance, and industry ministry. The institute receives patent applications and issues industrial property titles for patents, trademarks, designs and models accordingly. The body also provides access to information on industrial property and businesses, as well as participating in the drafting of industrial property law.

TAGS: business | trademarks | patents | law | intellectual property | France | trade | research and development

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