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Figures for last year

Number of applications for national patents due to COVID-19 shoot up

Wednesday 20 January 2021

This is an 8.9% increase on 2019, which marks a very positive change of trend that shows the strength of the patent system in Spain. Furthermore, and in the field of fostering technological innovation, the rise in the number of applications in 2020 for utility models was even more pronounced, amounting to a figure of 3,409 applications, a 24.6% rise on the number of applications presented in 2019.

According to José Antonio Gil Celedonio, the Director of the Spanish Patents and Trademarks Office, "the figures are encouraging for the future. The R&D+i system, both public and private, has resorted more to the patent system, which shows a commitment to national scientific and technological development. In addition, the figures on trademarks and trade names show the rapid recovery of our business fabric. And all of this despite the difficult circumstances of 2020".

Madrid was the autonomous region of residence to present the highest number of applications for national patents (316), followed by the Region of Valencia (230), Andalusia (200) and Catalonia (184). In terms of utility models, the leading region in number of applications was Catalonia (584), followed by Madrid (496), the Region of Valencia (480) and Castile and Leon (461).

After strengthening the patent system and enhancing the value of utility models under the Patents Act 24/2015, of 24 July, this is the first year to see a positive trend. The actions of the Spanish Patents and Trademarks Office and of its partners in the public and private sectors, together with the signing of agreements with different bodies and the efforts made in activity campaigns in universities, with technology platforms and other sectors have contributed to a greater spread of the national system to protect inventions.

In total, the figures on the protection of technical innovations in the form of patents and utility models as regulated by the Patents Act 24/2015 highlight the 19.4% increase on 2019. A large part of this rise is as a result of the increase in research and development associated with the pandemic, since a significant number of applications were related to disinfection (compositions, coatings, devices, furniture and accessories) and to protection (face masks, clothing, filters, screens, separators), as well as others related to associated diseases and their treatment.

Despite the economic difficulties, the figures also show the good health of the trademark system: in 2020, a total of 51,103 applications for a national trademark were received, up 0.8% on 2019, and a total of 12,265 applications were made for trade names, a 5.6% rise on the previous year. These figures show that the economic system has found a way to resist and transform itself when faced with the challenges that new consumer and sale patterns have meant stemming from COVID-19, since, despite seeing a significant fall in applications in the months of March and April, the monthly figures for the rest of the year have led to the year closing in positive numbers. The leading autonomous regions in number of trademark applications were Madrid (12,102 national trademarks), followed by Catalonia (8,448 national trademarks), Andalusia (7,334 national trademarks) and the Region of Valencia (5,426 national trademarks).

All the figures related to the statistics on industrial property can be consulted at or requested from the Spanish Patents and Trademarks Office through its Statistics and Studies Service.

Non official translation