“Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay!” – Sherlock Holmes
Since 2015 it’s been getting easier to get a patent granted in Europe. As of 2018, statistically you have a 70.81% chance of getting a patent granted for your invention. The reason I know this is that rather than relying on gut feeling, I decided to take a look at what the data actually says. Using my programming skills, I analysed the European Patent Register to see how many European patents in 2018 had a status of granted, and how many applications left examination without being granted (i.e. applications which had been refused, withdrawn, and deemed withdrawn).
What I found was that in 2018, 126,055 applications had a status as granted, 6,101 applications had a status as refused, 9,439 applications a status of withdrawn and 36,425 applications had a status of deemed withdrawn. To put it another way, the allowance rate in 2018 was 70.81%. This allowance rate varies depending on the technology you are working in, so if you are thinking of filing a patent and want to know how likely it is to be granted, do get in touch.
What is also interesting is that I also did this analysis for each year of the last five years, as shown in the graph below. There is a clear trend – it is getting easier to get a patent granted in Europe.