ABB number one for Swiss patent applications in 2019

ABB has secured the first place among Swiss companies in the European Patent Office’s (EPO) list of patent applicants in 2019. ABB is listed with 689 patent applications for 2019, an increase of 21 percent compared to the previous year. The last time ABB was number one was in 2014.

The annual list is published by the EPO in Munich, Germany, and highlights the companies and countries with the largest number of patents in Europe. Switzerland is the world’s innovation champion with 988 patent applications per 1 million inhabitants followed by Sweden which recorded 433 patent applications per 1 million people. The overall number of applications registered in Switzerland grew by 3.6 percent to a new record number of 8,249 while Sweden registered an increase of 8.0 percent to 4,381.

The majority of patents applied for by ABB in 2019 are geared towards increased sustainability by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy and operations efficiency. Close to 60 percent of ABB’s global revenues already come from solutions that protect the environment and combat global warming. Ongoing research and development will support ABB’s efforts to increase this percentage even further in 2020.

“Maintaining a focus on sustainable technologies in research and development is more important than ever. Our R&D organization will continue to create value for our customers and other stakeholders by applying patents for products, services and solutions. With our approach, we are paving the way for an increasingly autonomous and digital industry. Recent examples of forward-thinking innovations by ABB have helped make us the global technology leader for electric vehicle charging infrastructure and for collaborative robots with our signature YuMi® product,” said Bazmi Husain, Chief Technology Officer of ABB.

Technology and innovation play a crucial role for ABB. In 2019, ABB increased its investments in research and development by 4.4 percent to $1.2 billion, or 4.3 percent of annual revenues. The company employs some 7,000 researchers globally.

In addition, the company continues to partner with more than 100 leading universities around the world. Among them ABB is working with Carnegie Mellon and Stanford University in the United States, University of British Columbia in Canada, Imperial College in the UK, the Indian Institute of Technology, China’s Tsing Hua University, Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology and ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

ABB is further leveraging its R&D ecosystem to enhance innovation efforts and gain speed with strategic digital partners like Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Dassault Systèmes to name a few and by investing and collaborating with start-ups worldwide via its corporate venture arm ABB Technology Ventures and its start-up accelerator arm SynerLeap.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a technology leader that is driving the digital transformation of industries. With a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB has four customer-focused, globally leading businesses: Electrification, Industrial Automation, Motion, and Robotics & Discrete Automation, supported by the ABB Ability™ digital platform. ABB’s Power Grids business will be divested to Hitachi in 2020. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 144,000 employees.


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