In Spain, fewer and worse patents are filed.

Taking as a reference the public data in the SPTO, we can confirm that in 2021 almost 1000 fewer patents have been applied for in Spain than the number of applications registered in 2017. 

I thought of a punctual and casual difference, but when downloading and projecting the data available in the SPTO, we have jumped all the alarms. Spaniards register on average almost 1000 fewer patents each year, compared to the annual averages of periods prior to 2017.


Patentes Solicitadas en España

How many patents are approved each year in Spain?

Seeing such a notable decrease in the number of patent applications in Spain, I suspected: "The fewer applications, the better results we will have achieved compared to the OEPM" But this is not the case. The news is even worse. Not only do we apply for almost half of the Patents, but we are an increasingly worse applicant.

Patentes Solicitadas Vs Patentes Aprobadas

Before 2020, it was a trend for the community of inventors in Spain to achieve at least 80% of approvals of their patent applications, while, as of 2021, it has not been possible to reach 50% of success cases compared to the SPTO exams.

¿Desaparecieron los inventores españoles?


NO! Luckily, this anticipated conclusion is a big mistake. The community of inventors in Spain is kept alive, maintains ingenuity and creativity. At the same time that a radical change of trend is visualized in the number of patent applications in Spain, a substantial increase in the number of applications for Utility Models has been noted.

Of course, since the data does not lie, here is the graph that proves it: 

Patentes o Modelos de Utilidad

Why do inventors apply for so many more Utility Models than Patents? 

Lo primero que debo reafirmar, es que el Utility Model y la patent no son sinónimos. Tampoco es cierto que el Utility Model sea el antecedente de una Patente. Existen diferencias muy notorias entre una Patente y un Modelo de Utilidad. Aunque ya hemos profundizado en ese tema, te dejamos un cuadro resumen de las diferencias entre Modelos de Utilidad y Patentes.



Utility Model



Useful improvement of something that already exists. Lack sufficient degree of inventiveness to be a patent

Complex inventions with high innovation load. They could also be initiatives that build on some existing element.


10 Years

20 Years

Substantive Review

The product or invention itself is not evaluated. It is evaluated that it complies with the formal structure

Whether there is a thorough assessment of the prior art and inventive step of the proposed invention


5 Months

2 Years


Very limited


Market Price

1500 € – 3000€

7000€ – 15000€

Taking a look at the comparison table, there is no doubt. Price can be one of the main motivations for inventors to choose to protect their inventions with a Utility Model rather than a Patent. 

Do we have worse Inventors or worse Intellectual Property Advisors? 


The numbers don't lie! The number of patent approvals is plummeting and decreasing much faster than the number of patents applied for in Spain. So we are substantially worse in some ways than we were a few years ago: we have worse inventors or worse intellectual property advisers.

Patentes aprobada sen España

I find it hard to think that the quality of Inventors has declined. During the last decade, in Let's Prototype, we have not noticed any phenomenon or trend that points to a decrease in the quality or creative capacity of our customers. In terms of volume of Inventors, if we add the Number of Patent Applications and the Number of Utility Model Applications, we will be in the best years of the community of Inventors in Spain, therefore, I have no doubt, those responsible for the great fall in approval of requested PATENTS, has more to do with the advisors than with the inventors themselves.


Patentes Solicitadas Vs Patentes Aprobadas

If we analyze again the graph of Patents Applied for Vs. Approved Patents, it calls into question those responsible for: evaluating the patentability options of inventions, preparing robust and professional reports, studying antecedents and creating solid protection strategies. I work hand in hand with professionals in the sector in Spain and I can only praise their dedication and high level of commitment, but, unfortunately, professional intrusion in the sector is being a great threat to the level of the community of inventors in Spain.

How to distinguish between a good and a questionable advisor? 

It would be very unfair to question intellectual property professionals. I work hand in hand with professionals in the sector in Spain and I can only praise their dedication and high level of commitment. In this case, just by appealing to our professional experience, feedback from inventors and footprint in the sector, we provide you with a comparative table of common features between the best intellectual property advisors we know and with whom we collaborate systematically and those we choose least.



Good Advisors

Less recommended advisors.


High: They are dedicated exclusively to intellectual property work

Low: They include a much broader list of services than patents.


They often find results that threaten or come close to your invention. They analyze their characteristics and create a protection strategy. They report on it.

You will never find threats or patents similar to your invention. They are the fastest and cheapest doing background searches.

Registration Method

They have a balanced number of filings between Patents and Utility Models

They have many more applications for Utility Models than Patents in their history


They give you the opportunity to put your contact details, address and any identification on your invention.

Without asking anything, they register you as an inventor but register the addresses of their offices. This prevents other providers from contacting you.

We really make a great effort to locate, analyze and synthesize useful information for your career as an inventor. We do it because we are aware of how much is at stake in every decision. If in any way, you want to start our effort in information, share this post in your networks and leave us a review about your opinions about the work done. 

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Erick Remedios