Siemens is again the uncontested leader in patent applications in Europe. According to the 2011 Patent Applicant Ranking of the European Patent Office (EPO), the company submitted 2,235 patent applications (excluding Osram: 1,994) to the EPO in calendar year 2011 to capture first place in the European patent statistics. Siemens also increased its lead over its next-ranked rivals. "I'm very proud of this achievement – it's a testimony to our employees' power of innovation. Innovations strengthen our position in international competition and create jobs," said Siemens President and CEO Peter Löscher. Löscher confirmed that Siemens will continue to invest in research and development at the current high level. In fiscal 2011, the company channeled nearly €4 billion into research and development, of which over €1 billion went to develop green technologies.
"Siemens is a great example of how to leverage innovations for business success," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "The company has been in the top three ever since we introduced the Top Applicant Rankings in 1997." Siemens is also increasingly innovative at the global level. The number of invention reports filed by Siemens researchers rose ten percent year-over-year to 8,600 – or almost 40 per workday. On average, each of the company's nearly 28,000 R&D employees is now reporting almost twice as many inventions as ten years ago. The number of related initial patent filings worldwide now totals nearly 4,300 or almost 20 per workday – a 15 percent increase compared to 2010, while the total number of patents granted to the company has risen from 51,300 in 2010 to 53,300.
These outstanding creative achievements are reflected in Siemens products. For example, the company's latest gas turbine has achieved an efficiency rating of 60.75 percent in combined cycle operation with a steam turbine – a current world record. In 1990, turbine efficiency was still 52 percent – nearly nine percent lower. A power plant equipped with the new Siemens turbine can supply the entire energy needs of a city of around 3.5 million inhabitants. This means that – due to its increased efficiency – it can provide electricity to half a million more people than its counterpart in 1990 and without additional CO2 emissions. The plant can also go from shutdown to 500 megawatts within half an hour. This quick start-up capability is important if wind and solar systems are to be used to feed electricity into power grids as part of the current energy transformation. The new combined cycle plants can step in at short notice if wind forces suddenly diminish or clouds obscure the sun.
Another example – this time in the healthcare field – is of particular importance to patients. Developed by Siemens, the new Biograph mMR is the first device to combine the two opposed technologies magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) in a single system. By providing much more precise images of processes within the human body, the Biograph mMR is making diagnoses more accurate. For patients, this means gentler and more individual therapies and better outcomes.
Further information is available at: www.siemens.com/press/patent-applicant-ranking.
The figures for invention reports and patent applications are calculated on the basis of continuing operations – that is, excluding Osram and Siemens IT Solutions and Services.