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Patent Filing Rise Reveals Role of Innovation in Driving Scottish Economy

Posted: 9th March 2018

Leading intellectual property (IP) practice Marks & Clerk today highlights the crucial role of IP in powering the Scottish economy as new statistics show patent filing is on the up.

The European Patent Office’s (EPO) annual report, published yesterday (March 7) reveals increased patent filing in the country.

UK companies and entrepreneurs file at the EPO to protect inventions and innovations in all 38 of the EPO’s member states. The EPO’s latest annual report, covering patents filed and granted in 2017, reveals that 271 patents were filed from Scotland – an increase of 9.7% on the previous year.

Patent filing in Scotland also outperformed the UK as a whole, which saw a 2.4% increase in filing.

Growth in patent filing across the UK was driven by key sectors including medical technology (up 7.1%), biotechnology (up 25.3%), pharmaceuticals (up 15.7%) and civil engineering (up 20.2%).

Paul Chapman, a Partner in Marks & Clerk’s Edinburgh office said: “Scotland continues to lead the way in industries as diverse as food and drink, pharmaceuticals and energy and this is reflected in the fact that filings from Scotland have grown nearly 10 per cent year on year.

“Between 2015 and 2016 patent filings remained steady demonstrating resilience amid economic uncertainty – and this year’s rise is figures is even more encouraging, showing there is a now a fresh wave of confidence.

“The dynamism of the Scottish economy is reflected in these latest statistics from the EPO which shows Scotland to be an innovation hotspot.

“By filing with the EPO, businesses from the region are protecting their IP both at home, and in key overseas markets, ensuring Scottish innovation is successful globally.”


Leading UK regions for EPO applications  Patents Filed Change
Greater London 1716 +10.6%
East of England 623 +3.1%
North West England 571 +2%
South East England 503 -12.4%
West Midlands 478 +6.5%
South West England 469 -3.1%
Scotland 271 +9.7%
Wales 218 +7.4%
Yorkshire & the Humber 185 -10.6%
East Midlands 95 +1.1%
North East England 66 +15.8%
Northern Ireland 63 -4.5%


Full details of the annual report can be found at:

247 patent filings came from Scotland in 2016 compared with 246 in 2015.

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