Count number of patent applications

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karvey
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:48 pm

Count number of patent applications

Post by karvey » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:03 pm

Dear PATSTAT community,

I am currently writing a research paper on the influence of open innovation on the innovation output of Unilever. The number of patents of Unilever is therefore necessary to my research. I would like to obtain the number of patents that Unilever filed or applied (not granted) per year from 2002 to 2019. Is it possible to write a query which would provide me with the information I need?

I have tried the EP full-text search database but failed. If there is better database for such patent data, please kindly inform me. Besides, since I am new to both PATSTAT and SQL every help is highly appreciated.

Best regards,
Karvey


EPO / PATSTAT Support
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:33 pm
Contact:

Re: Count number of patent applications

Post by EPO / PATSTAT Support » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:50 am

Hello Karvey,
the query below gives you the number of Unilever patent filings at the EPO. It gives you the number for the applications filed at the EPO.
You can take a test account on PATSTAT Online and paste/copy this into query area.
When you look at the results you will observe the typical decline for the last 2 years due to the 18 month application-publication period.

Code: Select all

SELECT psn_name,
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2002 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2002",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2003 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2003",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2004 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2004",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2005 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2005",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2006 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2006",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2007 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2007",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2008 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2008",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2009 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2009",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2010 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2010",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2011 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2011",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2012 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2012",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2013 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2013",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2014 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2014",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2015 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2015",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2016 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2016",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2017 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2017",
COUNT(distinct(case when year(appln_filing_date) = 2018 then tls201_appln.appln_id end)) as "2018"
FROM tls201_appln
join tls207_pers_appln on tls201_appln.appln_id = tls207_pers_appln.appln_id
join tls206_person  on tls206_person.person_id = tls207_pers_appln.person_id
where psn_name = 'unilever' and applt_seq_nr > 0  and appln_auth = 'EP' and appln_filing_year between 2002 and 2019
group by psn_name
order by psn_name
You can adapt this query further to your needs. Kindly also have a look at the self learning material and documentation for further information.

Another alternative is to use the Global Patent Index (subscription product, but you can obtain a 1 month free trial). This search string

Code: Select all

APC = EP and APPD = unilever and APD > 2001
will give you similar results as the sql query, but is much easier for beginners who do not need direct access to the data.
PATSTAT Support Team
EPO - Vienna
patstat @ epo.org


karvey
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:48 pm

Re: Count number of patent applications

Post by karvey » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:04 pm

Dear PATSTAT community,

Thank you for your help! Both methods worked and gave me data of patents. However, I found that the data was confusing as all three sets of data were different.

At first I collected Unilever's number of patents data from EPO annual report - Top 50 applicants. This is the URL where I collected data: https://www.epo.org/about-us/annual-rep ... .html#tab2. For example, in 2018, Unilever had 502 patents filing, and then I turned to other annual reports one by one. But I could only gather data from 2011 to 2018 because annual report before 2011 did not provide top 50 applicant data. And the Unilever patent data from 2011 to 2018 is 393, 417, 456, 392, 434, 441, 422, 502.

I also tried the PATSTAT online using the SQL query you provided. And it returned to me this dataset (from 2011-2018): 237, 199, 204, 137, 144, 217, 26, 1.

Finally, I used GPI system. The search string I applied is

Code: Select all

APC = EP and APPD = unilever and APD = 2011
I applied similar code to fetch 2011-2018 data, and it showed as follow: 272, 288, 247, 178, 173, 256, 277, 235.

I would like to collect data of Unilever's number of patents from 2002 to 2018, and it would be better if it is aligned with the annual report data. What are the codes I should use in order to collect this data? Thank you for your help in advance.

Best regards,
Karvey


EPO / PATSTAT Support
Posts: 227
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:33 pm
Contact:

Re: Count number of patent applications - replicate annual report figures ?

Post by EPO / PATSTAT Support » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:07 pm

Hello Karvey,
it is not possible to replicate the annual report figures with PATSTAT for a number of reasons:

a) annual reports are a reflection of "workload for the EPO" and do include withdrawn applications -also not yet published-. If an applicant decides to withdraw the application after having received the search report, it will not appear in any data base. But it is counted in our annual filing figures. This constitutes about 10% across the line.
b) the annual report sometimes groups "legal entities" under 1 common name. I used the harmonised name of "Unilever", but other entities such as : UNILEVER BCS, UNILEVER BCS EUROPE,UNILEVER HOUSE, Unilever PLC, Unilever PLC, A Company Registered in England and Wales under Company no. 41424 ,UNILEVER PLC, A COMPANY REGISTERED IN ENGLAND ANDWALES UNDER COMPANY NO. 41424 OF are probably merged together for the annual statistics. (This is referred to as the "consolidated applicants" in the excel sheet.)
c) the list in the annual report includes the "PCT applications that entered the European phase during the reporting period. " These applications have a filing date about 30 months before the applicant has to decide to enter the European phase. So basically, those patents add to the 2018 workload, but were probably filed upto 30 months before.
d) 2018 and 2017 publications are not available for the public yet but nevertheless included in the annual reports (at aggregated level).

GPI is in principle "publication" based but groups the publications also according to families. The arguments used above are also applicable for GPI (or Espacenet).

Bottom line: there is no (straightforward) method of replicating annual report figures with public data.
If the purpose of your research is comparing a company, with other companies, it does not matter too much what methodology you use as the same rule will be applied for all companies. But PATSTAT is the best product to allows users to clearly define what kind of patents you want to have included in your counts.
PATSTAT Support Team
EPO - Vienna
patstat @ epo.org


karvey
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:48 pm

Re: Count number of patent applications

Post by karvey » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:11 pm

Dear PATSTAT community,

Thank you for your information! It is really helpful.

Best regards,
Karvey


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