Patent applications

  • 258 patent applications per one million inhabitants

    In 2016, a total of 1,677 patent applications were filed in the Flemish Region, or 258 applications per million inhabitants. These are patent applications by Flemish inventors and/or applicants applied for under the European patent system (EPO).

    The number of patents was higher in the years prior to 2008. 2008 saw the start of the financial-economic downturn, the impact of which was fully felt in 2009 with a smaller number of patent applications. Between 2009 and 2013 the volume of applications remained more or less constant,  after which there was another slight increase.  More recent figures after 2016 are not available for the time being.

  • Flanders ranks in the middle for patent applications at international level

    In 2015, the Flemish Region found itself above the Belgian average of 209 patent applications per million residents.

    In Luxembourg (870) and Switzerland (788) in particular, the number of patent applications per million residents was distinctly higher than in the other countries. Sweden (438) and Finland (356) also top the list. As far as our neighbouring countries are concerned, Germany (315) and the Netherlands (309) do well. France has 179 patent applications per million residents.


Expertisecentrum Onderzoek en Ontwikkelingsmonitoring (ECOOM) (Centre for Research & Development Monitoring): Indicatorenboek - octrooien (Indicators Book - patents) 
European Patent Office (EPO): Searching for Patents 


Patent: a patent grants an inventor the right to prohibit other parties from using or copying the invention over a certain period of time. In Europe, patents are applied for and granted under the European patent system (European Patent Office, or EPO).

Publication date

21 December 2020

Next update

September 2021

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