In 2005 (the latest year for which technology data are available),
the most intense patenting activity is evident in the following
sectors: computer technology (144,594), telecommunications (116,770), and electrical machinery (121,350) technologies. Between 2001 and 2005, patent filings in computer technology, optics, and semiconductors grew by 5.3%, 5.0% and 4.9%, a year, respectively. There was a modest increase in pharmaceuticals filings (1.7%) and a decrease in biotechnology filings (-2.7%).
Recent pressures on energy resources have boosted patenting
activity in the energy sector, in particular in relation to solar
(thermal and photo) energy, fuel cells and wind energy. Applicants from Japan accounted for the largest number of applications in the fields of solar energy and fuel cells. Whereas, Germany and Japan were the top two countries of origin for wind energy technologies.