Legoland of patents

Home Infographics Legoland of patents

Mapping patents per million inhabitants. Guess who's the biggest!


The number of applications to the European Patent Office is one measure of a country’s innovation productivity. This map shows the distribution across Europe, with each Lego-like pixel representing one patent per million inhabitants. Such ratiometric values can introduce distortions when values are small. Liechtenstein (in red) filed only 50 patent applications in 2012, but its population is so small (less than 38,000) that the country appears disproportionately innovative.

► Click on the map to expand to full screen version, or mouse over to use the inner zoom.

Journalists: Chase Mohrman (map) and Gorm Palmgren (text)

Source: Eurostat, Patent applications to the EPO, 2012


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