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EPO patents designated in single European countries

Posted: Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:11 pm
by carmen.calatrava
Hi all,

I am using the query below to count the number of EPO patents designated in the Netherlands with filing year between 2000 and 2015.

Code: Select all

SELECT COUNT(distinct(a.appln_id)), a.appln_filing_year
 FROM tls201_appln a join tls231_inpadoc_legal_event le on le.appln_id=a.appln_id
 a.appln_kind = 'A' -- Patent (exclude the PCT applications that have not yet entered reg. phase.)
 AND a.appln_id < 900000000 -- exclude artificial applications
AND a.granted =1
 AND a.ipr_type = 'PI'
 AND a.appln_filing_year between 2000 and 2015
 AND le.designated_states LIKE '%NL%'
 AND a.appln_auth = 'EP'
 GROUP BY a.appln_filing_year
 ORDER BY a.appln_filing_year
If I change the query to count the patents designated in any other country such as Germany, Denmark or Switzerland, I get the same number of patents from 2011 to 2015 in each of the countries: 42,188 in 2011 (in each country); 34,145 in 2012; 21,015 in 2013; 8,178 in 2014; 1,729 in 2015.

I wonder how it can be that each of these countries have the same number of designated patents. Is there anything wrong in my query? Are the results that I obtain reliable?

I would appreciate any insight that you might provide on this issue.
Thank you so much in advance! and have a happy New Year!

Best regards,

Re: EPO patents designated in single European countries

Posted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:51 pm
by mkracker
Dear Carmen,

There probably is a misconception about the meaning of "designated states".
Article 79 of the European Patent Convention ( ... /ar79.html) specifies since late 2000 that "All the Contracting States party to this Convention at the time of filing of the European patent application shall be deemed to be designated in the request for grant of a European patent. "

In less legal terms: When an EP application is filed, by default all(!) current member states will be designated. So it is no surprise that DE, CH and NL (just as an example) are designated states for the the same/similar number of applications.

What you probably want to know is in which member states a granted EP patent enters into force. If this is the case, then I suggest you use the EP legal Code PGFP (Post Grant Fee Paid). This is a very reliable indicator which tells you that an EP application came into force in a certain EP member state. Table TLS231_INPADOC_LEGAL_EVENT has these attributes you may look at:
  • EVENT_CODE should be PGFP
  • FEE_COUNTRY is the state for which the annual fee has been paid
  • FEE_RENEWAL_YEAR is the year (first, second, third, ..., 20th) for which the annual fee has been paid
  • FEE_PAYMENT_DATE the date the payment took place
Please note that only the latest payment per country is stored in PATSTAT. So if you find a payment for year 10, then payments for year 9, 8, ... for this country are not explicitely recorded.

Hope that helps,

Re: EPO patents designated in single European countries

Posted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:25 pm
by carmen.calatrava
Thank you so much for such a good explanation. Now, everything is clear.