The European Patent Office has said the number of filings has risen considerably in recent months, following a slight drop in 2016. The US tops the table with the most applications, while Germany takes second position.
The latest annual report said the medical technology sector saw the steepest increase in patent filings, with applications surging by 6.2 percent year on year.
While some Asian nations such as China and South Korea were found to have filed the most patents in some specific areas, such as information and communications technology, companies in European nations and the United States increasingly focused on AI solutions and autonomous driving technology.
For the first time, a Chinese company — Huawei — took the crown as the firm with the most patent applications in 2017.