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23 Dec 2021
Katarzyna Puchała

Is Poland innovative enough?

European Patent Office (EPO) and Polish Patent Office (PPO) statistics show that the answer to the question is Poland innovative Enough should be – “not exactly”. There has been some increase in the number of patent applications from Poland (before the EPO) or in Poland (before the PPO) compared to past years, but we are still a long way behind the major players. Also, as the summary below shows, the most innovative entities in Poland are universities and public research organizations, not private companies.

In 2020, the number of European patents applied for by Polish companies was 483 (4.3% increase compared to 2019).  The EPO granted 278 patents, which indicates an increase of 20.3% compared to 2019. This ranks Poland 35th in European patent applications per million inhabitants and 27th in patent applications.

In 2020, in the Polish procedure, the Polish Patent Office granted 2260 patents and 533 protection rights for utility models to Polish applicants, while the respective figures for foreign entities were 48 and 19. This represents a slight downward trend compared to 2019, when 2947 patents and 603 protection rights for utility models were granted to Polish applicants.

EPO statistics show that nearly 74% of patent applications were filed by large enterprises, and 21% by SMEs and individual inventors. Meanwhile,  only 5% were filed by universities and public research organizations. In Poland, the structure of patent applicants is significantly different – nearly 60% of patent applications are filed by universities and public research organizations, while only 6% are filed by individual inventors.

The principal technical fields in Polish applications have remained the same for several years: thermal processes and mechanical engineering apparatus (9.5% of all applications/ 46 applications); medical technology (instruments) – 38 applications; Pharmaceuticals (8% of applications/38 applications) and transport (31 applications). There was a noticeable increase in applications for furniture, games (+700%) and biotechnology (+200%).

More data here:

  • In 2020, the number of patents and protection rights for utility models granted to research organizations was 244 and 19 respectively (in 2019 259 patents and 12 utility models)
  • In 2020, the number of patents and protection rights for utility models granted to Polish Academy of Sciences organizations was 72 and 4 respectively (in 2019  91 patents and 1 utility model)
  • In 2020, the number of patents and protection rights for utility models granted to individuals was 137 and 67 respectively (in 2019 207 patents and 54 utility models)
  • In 2020, the number of patents and protection rights for utility models granted to businesses was 797 and 381 respectively, and in 2019 1150 patents and 473 utility models

In 2020, the number of patents and protection rights for utility models granted to institutions of higher education was 1010 and 62 respectively, and in 2019 1240 patents and 63 utility models.