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Safran tops patent ranking in France

Innovation

For the first time this year, the National Industrial Property Institute (INPI*) has published its ranking of top patent holders in France. Safran is in first place with a portfolio of 16,457 active patents.

Over the years, Safran has confirmed its position as a key innovator in the global aerospace ecosystem. Safran holds the largest portfolio of patents in France, where the vast majority of its R&D teams are located. This reflects the Group’s strategy of differentiation through innovation and the inventive contribution of the technical solutions devised by its teams. Innovation at Safran means 1,700 inventors worldwide, but also strategic partnerships with research and academic organizations, scientific networks, research chairs and open innovation initiatives with suppliers and startups. 

This high number of active patents is the result of a proactive innovation and intellectual property policy, coupled with the specific timescales of the aerospace sector, where cycles are particularly long. Safran also invests in maintaining its patents for the maximum term of 20 years, which is relatively short, given the technology maturation time from initial idea to product entry into service and the duration of industrial and commercial exploitation of these innovations in products, processes and services.

Since 2011, Safran has been on the podium for patent applications every year and took the top spot in the last two rankings. This year, Safran ranks second with 1,232 applications for patents for inventions (as per INPI’s new methodology), illustrating once again the Group’s power to innovate and the robustness of the processes in place to protect its inventions. 

“Safran’s leadership in patents reflects the place of innovation in our technologic strategy,” said Eric Dalbiès, Safran EVP Strategy and Chief Technology Officer. “The efforts of our teams, combined with strategic partnerships and collaborative approaches, is helping drive a dynamic innovation ecosystem, shaping the future of low-carbon aviation.” 

Safran devotes 75% of its Research & Technology self-funded spending to environmental efficiency, and most of its patented inventions contribute to this effort. Between 2021 and 2025, some €4.2 billion is being invested in the disruptive innovations needed to achieve more sustainable aviation. 

Safran is also the top French patent holder of European patents, according to the European Patent Office (EPO), and in the United States, as per the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO).

Important: for the first time, INPI has published its ranking on the basis of patents filed in order to offer a more accurate representation of French economic activity. As such, the data presented cannot be compared with previous rankings because they also include provisional applications (patents pending) and utility certificate (or utility model) applications, which do not necessarily lead to the issue of patents for invention. 

*Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle.

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Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 92 000 employees and sales of 23.2 billion euros in 2023, and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets. Safran undertakes research and development programs to maintain the environmental priorities of its R&T and Innovation roadmap.

Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices

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