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EPO Patent Index 2021

The CEA: France's leading patent-applying research organization in Europe

On April 5, the European Patent Office (EPO) published its annual report, the Patent Index 2021, an innovation barometer listing worldwide patent applications on the European market. The CEA is the only French research organization in the top 50, ranking 35th with 528 patent applications filed with the EPO in 2021. In the field of semiconductors, the CEA is the only European player in the top 5.

Published on 11 April 2022

Despite the health context, the EPO has noted a significant increase (+4.5%) in patent applications in 2021. Notably in the digital and health fields, as well as in the transportation and semiconductor sectors. With 10,537 patent applications filed in 2021, France is actively contributing to this growth, occupying 2nd place in the EPO's ranking.

The CEA, a major player in European innovation

Three French companies, including the CEA, are among the EPO's top 50. With the German research institute Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the CEA is the only European research organization in the top 50 and the only French research organization. It is ranked 35th in the Patent Index 2021, with 528 patent applications filed with the EPO in 2021, and 2nd in France, just behind the industrial group Safran (33rd). The CEA is particularly well known in the field of semiconductors, where it is the only European player in the EPO's top five.

A dynamic and proactive policy for protecting inventions at the CEA

The CEA is the leading patent-granting research organization in France and the leading research organization in Europe, with more than 7,250 active patent families at the beginning of 2021, and around 700 new inventions protected each year. The CEA is therefore pursuing its dynamic and proactive policy of protecting its inventions through patents.

"Intellectual property is the key element for enhancing the value of innovations and promoting technology transfer, says Corinne Hueber-Saintot, Director of Technology Transfer at CEA. Our proven and solid intellectual property strategy, now formalized in a charter, is based on extensive patent protection, particularly in Europe, managed in-house by dedicated patent engineers, most of whom are European agents. This approach, coupled with internationally recognized scientific expertise and technological know-how, is part of active contributions to large-scale European R&D projects serving the three transitions: digital energy (and medicine of the future), which ensure that the CEA plays a leading role in the European research ecosystem."

Faced with very strong global competition, the CEA's industrial partners, from large groups to start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses, can rely on a portfolio of highly varied and secure R&D patents, enabling them to increase their competitiveness and preserve their technological sovereignty at the national and European levels.

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