An International Guide to
Patent Case Management for Judges

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11.1.2 Patent application trends

In 2021, 188,610 European patent applications were filed – a 4.5 percent increase over the filings in 2020. There was strong growth in digital technologies, such as digital communication, medical technology and computer technology.5 More information on patent application trends is available from the website of the EPO Statistics and Trends Centre.6

Figure 11.1 shows the total number of patent applications (direct and Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) national phase entry) filed with the EPO from 2000 to 2021.

Figure 11.1 Patent applications filed with the EPO, 2000–2021

Source: WIPO IP Statistics Data Center, available at