According to the EPO Patenting Index 2020, the outbreak of pandemic did not dramatically influence the pace of patenting activities in Europe and resulted only in a slight 0.7% decrease in the volume of applications received by the EPO. At the same time, however, COVID-19 to a certain extent fueled the healthcare-related innovation in the respective year.
Medical technology, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology were on the surge in the last year. Among leading technical fields, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology demonstrated the most rapid 10.2 % and 6.3% growth respectively. Medical technology increased by 2.6% and was the leading sector in terms of the volume of filings received by the EPO. It even outperformed digital communication that held the top position in 2019.
Although all of the three trending healthcare-related sectors deserve a separate detailed consideration, the current article is specifically focused on medical technology as it can provide potential business development opportunities for many interested patent law firms. In this respect, several critical questions arise: