Research Report: Patents from Turkey and European Union

By Hasan Ayaz, PhD

Innovation is at the core of technological advancement, product development, and services. Translation of innovation to economic value brings prosperity for the society and humanity in general. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, innovation is ever more crucial for the stability of global markets. 

Although not all innovations are patented, registered patents are one way of tracking technical invention and in this article, we are presenting number of patents registered by innovators from European countries in the United States, one of the largest markets in the world. The dataset includes patents registered only in 2012 calendar year and acquired from United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) public search engine*. This comparison is limited in nature and presenting only patents issued by USPTO, excluding all local or other patents registered from respective countries and also excludes any patents issued by inventors residing in the United States. Our aim was to find out how many US patents originated from Turkey and how this compares with other European countries.

The USPTO search engine found a total of 276,788 patents that were issued in 2012 and approximately half of these originated from foreign countries. About 13 percent of the total included inventors from European Union and candidate countries. Turkey ranked 16th among 31 EU countries and candidates, and ranked 37th in the world, detailed distribution is in Table 1 & 2 below. This list excludes much larger number of patent applications by Turkish scientists and scholars currently residing in the United States and should be perceived with caution. However, it illustrates that Turkey still has a lot of potential to grow its performance compared to its population. Quantifying these metrics may help policy makers, encourage innovators and hopefully there will be much more innovation all around the world in 2013.

2012 US Patent

    Figure 1. A total of 276,788 patents were listed in USPTO database for 2012 *.


    Table 1. 2012 United States Patents issued to inventors from EU countries (including candidates)*


        Table 2. List of first 55 countries with US Patents issued to inventors in 2012

* Data acquired from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Technology Monitoring Team (PTMT) report “Patent Counts by Origin and Type Calendar Year 2012”. Origin of the patent assigned by residence of the first named inventor listed in the patent. Ranking by any inventors’ residence yielded similar results.

Comments or Suggestions?