[THE INVESTOR] LG Group acquired the highest number of patents at the European Patent Office last year, outrunning Samsung Group and other European rivals, a report from the European Patent Office showed on March 8.
In global ranking, the South Korean conglomerate stood at No. 3, next to Chinese IT giant Huawei and German engineering group Siemens.
Seoul’s patent application volume in Europe declined 8.2 percent from a year earlier, taking a sudden dip from the 6.5 percent on-year growth in 2016, according to the EPO report.
With 6,261 patent applications, down 560 from the previous year, Asia’s fourth-largest economy was ranked the eighth-largest patent applicant state at the European office.
The downturn was largely attributable to market champion Samsung, which turned relatively passive in the European patent market, filing some 300 less applications to the EPO last year.
This placed runner-up LG at the top of the list with 1,792 patents, up 53 percent from the previous year. The Korean company also outran European rivals such as engineering and electronics company Bosch and Siemens.
Sectors in which South Korean companies made the most visible progress were polymer chemistry, transportation and organic fine chemistry, while conventionally prominent sectors such as computing technology, electronic device and energy remained relatively sluggish.
In the global market, it was China’s Huawei which topped the list with 2,398 acquisitions, followed by Germany’s Siemens with 2,220, while LG and Samsung were ranked third and fourth respectively, statistics showed.
By Bae Hyun-jung/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)