Patents / licenses

Invention disclosures and patent applications by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft 2011-2015

  • More than two patent applications every working day
  • Fraunhofer again among the Top 100 Global Innovators

Compared with other German research organizations, Fraunhofer comes out top with the highest number of inventions, new patent applications and total number of patents held. Even when compared with industrial companies Fraunhofer’s output is outstanding. For ten years in succession, Fraunhofer has ranked among the German Patent and Trade Mark Office’s 15 most prolific patent applicants, and is one of the
top ten in the register of trade marks. Similar statistics compiled by the European Patent Office (EPO) have placed Fraunhofer among the 50 most active patent applicants for many successive years.

As a result of applying a more professional IP management strategy, in which inventions undergo a selection procedure that involves evaluating them according to precise criteria, the number of patent applications has decreased slightly in recent years. Nonetheless, with 506 applications based on the newly defined priorities, Fraunhofer is still filing more than two patent applications per working day. Fraunhofer’s portfolio of active patents and utility models and pending patent applications has expanded steadily over the years. The number of patent families has nonetheless decreased to 6573, due to the consolidation of certain patent portfolios held by individual institutes. The total number of newly registered German patents owned by Fraunhofer exceeded 3000 for the first time in 2015. Exploitation agreements were signed for a total of 3015 active contracts in 2015. As a result of this performance, Fraunhofer ranked among the Top 100 Global Innovators for the third year in succession – a status it shared with three other German industrial companies in 2015. This award is presented annually by the Thomson Reuters media group on the basis of the number and quality of patented inventions.