70% of innovative businesses use patent information

The EPO has undertaken a survey on the role of patent information in the process of innovation.

At the end of 2016, the European Patent Office studied the way in which patent information had been used as an information source to support innovation in each of the 4 process phases: basic research, applied research, prototyping, marketing. 
To prevent skewing, the Office deliberately excluded patent information specialists. 

It appears that 70% of respondents use patents as a source of technical, business or legal information.

Some 72% of those consider it to be important or very important.


The EPO is far from the primary source. Some 75% of respondents use Espacenet, 30% DPMA/ DEPATISnet, 21% USPTO, 17% WIPO/PATENTSCOPE.


Innovators use patent information particularly in the applied research and prototyping phases, less so in basic research. They primarily research technical and legal information, not so much business information. 
Big business use patent information more than SMEs. 

How do the respondents use the information? Some 72% perform technical research for product development, 69% monitor the markets, technologies or competitors, over one half use it to generate ideas


The survey identified 3 major barriers to the use of patent information:

  • lack of knowledge of its advantages
  • lack of knowledge of tools that facilitate access to it
  • its supposed complexity… 

Patent information specialists such as Sirris experts have a crucial role in training and knowledge sharing.



Click here for more information on Sirris’s intellectual property services.