Switzerland is a hotspot for research and development. With a total of 7,088 patent registrations in 2015, it is in sixth place in the global comparison, behind the USA, Germany, Japan, France and the Netherlands. Calculated on the basis of the number of inhabitants, Switzerland remains the undisputed world no. 1. 873 patents per million inhabitants were registered with the European Patent Office (EPA) from Switzerland last year. In comparison, Germany had 307, Japan 169 and the USA 133 patent registrations per million inhabitants. Overall, the EPA recorded a rise of 1.6 percent in patent registrations with the number reaching a new record level of almost 279,000.
For the first time ever, the EPA has also published regional figures. In accordance with this, the cantons of Zurich (18.4%), Waadt (14.2%) and Basel City (13.4%) recorded the most patent registrations in Switzerland. This regional distribution is directly connected to the creators of the patents. As such, ETH Zurich with 79 registrations and EPF Lausanne with 55 registrations are the front-runners. Moreover, the major industrial groups ABB (563) and Nestlé (410) made significant contributions for the cantons of Zurich and Waadt. The pharmaceutical giants Roche, Novartis and Syngenta helped the canton of Basel-Stadt reach top position. With a total of 644 patent registrations, Roche toppled ABB with 563 registrations from the top spot it had occupied for several years into second place in 2015.