Published on: 8 January 2018

UK patent attorney firms are continuing to prove popular to businesses around the world when it comes to filing European patent applications, with the latest figures showing that one UK firm in particular is now Europe’s No 1.

The European Patent Office (EPO) – via which patent rights across Europe can be obtained - is not an EU institution. This means that the UK’s 2,300 European qualified patent attorneys will continue to represent domestic and overseas clients there after Brexit.

The most recent filing statistics from the European Patent Office indicate that this message is understood by businesses around the world seeking to protect their innovations in Europe. 

And in the latest set of available full year filing figures the UK firm Dehns is the number one for European patent application filings. In addition, two further UK firms feature in the top five, with Marks & Clerk and HGF ranked fourth and fifth respectively.

Dehns which has offices in London, Brighton, Oxford, Manchester and Munich, filed more than 3,000 European patent applications in 2016, placing them at the top of the filing list of European firms for the first time. 

This is also the first time in a number of years that a UK firm had topped the EPO filing list, as there is stiff competition from large German firms, with Hoffman Eitle and Gruenecker Kinkeldey close on Dehns’ heels. 

“This figure was not only a significant increase from the previous year, but also included a five month period after the UK vote to leave the European Union,” said Alex Piésold, Dehns’ Senior Partner.

“The strength of our EP order book continued through 2017.  It is therefore evident that UK and international clients have complete confidence in us, as a firm of UK Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, to file their patent applications in Europe.” 

The statistics showed that in 2016 Marks & Clerk filed over 2,500 European patent applications, and HGF close behind with over 2,000. Mewburn Ellis was the eighth largest filer in Europe with over 1,500 filings, with other UK firms including  Boult Wade Tennant, J.A. Kemp & Co, D. Young & Co and Carpmaels & Ransford not far behind with just under 1,500 filings each.

The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) has produced an animated video to further explain why European patent work will be unaffected by Brexit.

The video (below) was launched today and can also be viewed on the CIPA YouTube channel.