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National patent applications registered in Andalusia in 2020 increase by 10.38%

August 13, 2021
National patent applications registered in Andalusia in 2020 increase by 10.38%

Andalusia registered a total of 358 patent applications in 2020. Of these, a total of 202 have been applied for nationally, 39 via the European route and 117 via the PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty, with international extension). This figure represents an increase of 6.55% over the previous year, which contrasts with the decrease of -1.47% for the whole of Spain (3,283 registrations).

This rise in Andalusian data is even more notable in national patent applications, which have increased by 10.38% and which had been in decline since 2017. We have to go back to 2016 to observe the last increase in this indicator in the series in Andalusia. In that year, the year-on-year increase was 15.8%, with 512 registrations.

The data come from the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO) and have been analysed by the Regional Ministry of Economic Transformation, Industry, Knowledge, and Universities in the report ‘Propiedad Industrial en Andalucía 2020’, prepared by the Andalusian Knowledge Agency (AAC) in collaboration with the IDEA Agency.
The months in which the highest number of patent applications were registered nationally in the whole of 2020 were April, May, and June, coinciding with the hardest stage of the pandemic. These months also saw an increase in the need to produce personal protective equipment and systems for healthcare workers.

Patents filed in Andalusia account for 10.9% of the national total, which places the region in the fourth position after the Community of Madrid (22.27%), Catalonia (16.68%), and the Community of Valencia (13.31%).

In terms of the type of applicant, those who filed the most patent applications through the national route (the most widely used protection route, accounting for 56.42% of all registered applications) were private individuals (40.1%). This was followed by universities (29.7%), companies (22.27%), public bodies (7.43%), and centres dependent on the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) (0.5%).

Of the national patent applications filed or participated in by all Spanish public universities during the cumulative period 2007-2020, the Andalusian universities of Seville (US), Granada (UGR), Malaga (UMA), and Cadiz (UCA) were among the top 15, in second, fifth, seventh and twelfth place, respectively. Only the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) overtook the University of Seville in this indicator, taking first place in the national ranking.

The participation of Andalusian universities is also remarkable in terms of PCT patents. Specifically, the University of Seville was once again crowned as the Spanish public university with the highest number of PCT patent applications filed or participated in the 2007-2020 period, with 231. Furthermore, four of the nine Andalusian public universities are included in the top ten of the national ranking to this indicator: University of Seville (1st), University of Granada (4th), University of Malaga (6th) and University of Cadiz (10th).

Patents are legal titles that protect an invention (new product or service) with industrial application. It is a type of protection thanks to which exclusive exploitation rights are obtained for a maximum of 20 years, preventing the manufacture, sale or use by others without the consent of the holder.

To promote knowledge transfer activities, the Regional Ministry of Economic Transformation has recently announced a call for grants of 2.75 million euros aimed at the public agents of the Andalusian Knowledge System (SAC). The objective is to promote collaboration between these agents and the socio-productive fabric of the community and is aimed at supporting innovation and research activities.