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The EPO’s Innovative Resources for Space Technology Patents

24 / 6 / 2024

The European Patent Office (EPO) has started a specialized platform for developers, offering streamlined access to patent information pertaining to space technology. The platform is tailored for space-related inventions and grants users straightforward access to a wide array of patent documents covering more than 60 technical areas within cosmonautics and space observation. To further aid users, patent examiners have crafted sophisticated search strategies for Espacenet, the premier patent literature database.


Moreover, the EPO’s Deep Tech Finder now boasts a specialized filter for space tech, presenting comprehensive profiles of over 8,400 European start-ups engaged in space-related patenting. This resource enables potential collaborators and investors to examine the patent status and funding backgrounds of these start-ups.

To develop this initiative, the EPO has issued a Patent Insight Report on the technology of propulsion in the space. The report scrutinizes 4,559 patent families across 52 patent authorities, with participation from applicants in 43 countries and inventors in 53 countries. Propulsion is a critical component in space missions, providing the necessary thrust for launchers and satellites.

According to the report, there has been a notable surge in worldwide patenting in space propulsion systems over two decades, with a 9% yearly growth rate. The top regions in this field are the US, Europe (with France and Germany at the forefront), Japan, China, and Russia. European applicants represent 37% of the global patent filings. However, the study points out a deceleration in Europe’s propulsion system advancements, reflecting broader challenges in high-tech sectors.

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