The state of inventiveness in Europe 2023

Carles Puente
26 Apr 2023 Blog

As we celebrate World-Wide IP Day, it is not difficult to spot the hundreds of European inventors that have contributed to making our lives healthier, easier, and more productive: the pioneers of Messenger RNA technology for COVID-19 vaccines such as Katalin Karikó; the inventors of MP3, Karl Heinz Brandenburg, and of Bluetooth, Jaap Haartsen; and the creators of the contact lens, Otto Wichterle; the CD player, Kornelis A. Schouhamer Immink; the portable defibrillator, Frank Pantridge, and the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, to name a few.

However, when debating the actual state of inventiveness activity in Europe, one should check beyond those singular examples and question whether the continent is effectively using all its creative potential to boost our society and economy with innovation. And how Europe compares to other innovative regions of the world. In this regard, it becomes striking that Europe only files half of the patents it should compared to its scientific production and the patenting rates of its global competitors, namely the US, China, Japan, and Korea. And this is troubling as the patent system becomes key to making sure innovation happens in the first place, and that the investments needed to bring those to the market are stimulated and protected.

There are several ways Europe can strengthen its inventiveness quotient and become more competitive by enhancing its patent system. Here are just a few high-impact suggestions:

How can Europe strengthen their inventiveness quotient

There are several ways Europe can strengthen its inventiveness quotient and become more competitive by enhancing its patent system. Here are just a few high-impact suggestions.

Ensure full protection of inventions

The narrow interpretation at the European Patent Office on the content of patent applications usually results in patent grantings that protect only a fraction of the patentable material disclosed in the patent. Cleft patents leave inventors and technology corporations unprotected to design around by competitors who just need to take advantage of the loopholes the patent system has left. Such poor protection discourages investment in patents and in the business that would take those to the market.

Reduce costs

The cost of applying for and maintaining a patent in Europe can be prohibitively high for many inventors and startups. Reducing costs or offering discounts for small businesses and individual inventors can make the process more accessible and encourage more people to apply for patents. The cost of obtaining and maintaining a patent in Europe is about 5 times higher than in the US. This can be a significant barrier for small businesses and individual inventors who may not have the financial resources to pursue patent protection

Enhance protection for inventors and SMEs

In a nutshell, The European Patent System is complex, expensive, and inflexible, which results in an unbalance between those large corporations that can afford to file thousands of patents to protect their technology assets and those individual inventors and technology start-ups that need to bet on a handful of key patents to protect the value they create. Because of complexity and inflexibility, any loophole in a patent portfolio with a few patent filings becomes much more critical than the same in a vast portfolio that can afford to protect key inventions from multiple angles. If we want technology start-ups to flourish in Europe as much as it does in other regions of the world, we need to make a European Patent System that is powerful, flexible, and affordable for SMEs.


Enforcing patent rights can be more difficult in Europe than in the US due to the fragmented nature of the European patent system. This can create challenges for inventors who need to defend their patents against infringement. Strengthening the new Unitary Patent system and making it available to every country of the UE will boost the value and effectiveness of European patents. Also, a unified patent system will ensure that fundamental rights such as Intellectual Property rights can be consistently defended across the entirety of Europe regardless of the local weaknesses and particularities of national court systems.

It is urgent for Europe to develop a unified, affordable, consistent, reliable, and predictable patent system. If we Europeans want to make sure that the full potential of our inventors can be successfully released to deliver our inventions to society, we need to work together to make the European Patent System the top one in the world.

To read the complete in-depth article that was published in IAM magazine on 23 February 2023, please read The State inventiveness in Europe 2023.

the author

Carles Puente

Dr. Carles Puente is one of Ignion’s co-founders and serves as SVP Innovation & IP managing their IP portfolio and contributing to business and technology innovation together with Ignion’s engineering…

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Amazon Sidewalk finally launches in the US – make sure to get the antenna right!


What is Amazon Sidewalk

Amazon Sidewalk is a new low-bandwidth long-range wireless communication protocol enabled through the already deployed millions of Amazon devices like the Echo smart speaker.

Sidewalk services are now available for IoT devices to leverage the Amazon connectivity infrastructure claiming more than 90% of the people in the US covered according to their website.

What frequencies does Sidewalk use?

The network uses either 900MHz for long-range connectivity or 2.4GHz Bluetooth for short-range, enabling low data rate applications such as pet trackers, smart locks, weather sensors, and other devices that previously struggled with coverage on the typical home Wi-Fi network.  

As one of the main values of Sidewalk is long-range connectivity, the antenna takes even more importance, and it is imperative to consider it early in the design process to ensure robust connectivity.

As a developer, how can I get started with Sidewalk?

It used to be challenging to design optimized antenna solutions in IoT devices covering multiple wireless technologies in a small package, but thanks to the Virtual Antenna ® components it has been made easy, even covering both 900MHz and 2.4MHz with the same antenna component, ensuring long range and long battery life with the same SKU (read all about it in this Application Note).

The design house Oxit chose the Virtual Antenna® technology on their new OxTech  Sidewalk developer platform. The RUN mXTEND was chosen for its high efficiency in a compact size ensuring long range and long battery life, essential for the Sidewalk ecosystem devices. 

You can go ahead and design your own antenna for Sidewalk using our digital twin antenna design tool powered by AWS. Just select Sidewalk in the Communication Standard menu.

And if you want to see how we can push the Virtual Antenna® technology performance even further on the Sidewalk long-range frequency using TRIO mXTEND™, check out this Application Note.

the author

Johan Pedersen

Johan Pedersen is Vice President Product and Marketing for Ignion, the company behind the Virtual Antenna® technology. With more than 12 years in the IoT industry, Johan has been in…

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Ignion at Embedded World Nuremberg

16 Mar 2023 Events
iot events you cant miss
  • When?  March 14-16, 2023.
  • Where? Booth number 4A-302 @ Exhibition Centre Nuremberg. Germany

The embedded world Exhibition&Conference facilitates direct interaction with a large number of experts and qualified suppliers from all over the world. Whether at specialist forums, expert panels, the embedded world Conference or electronic displays Conference, experts from the embedded community meet at eye level to jointly develop ideas and concepts for the future.  The embedded world Exhibition&Conference is essential for anyone who wants to stay on top of core topics and industry trends!

*Co-funded by the European Union.

Ignion’s new partnership with California-based Geocene

04 Apr 2023 News
Geocene new partnership with ignion

Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona,  April 4th, 2023–  Ignion, a Barcelona-based IoT antenna innovator, today announced a new partnership with California-based Geocene, a leading engineering and technology design firm, to support the design and development of innovative IoT devices with the Virtual Antenna® technology and the cloud-based digital twin, the Antenna Intelligence Cloud™.

The complexity of IoT development requires a strong engineering team, armed with the latest RF hardware technology to help device manufacturers get to market faster with optimal connectivity and reliability. Geocene and Ignion’s Virtual Antenna® technology provide the right combination of personnel and technology to drive successful designs for customers who demand solutions to complex problems and responsiveness to ever-changing market requirements.

“Ignion’s unique Virtual Antenna® technology allows companies to design smaller, more power-efficient devices, with multi-radio capabilities. We are excited to be working with Geocene who are delivering not just ground-up products for hot Silicon Valley Startups but also drop-in solutions for large enterprise clients. It makes sense to accelerate their design process for more of these important projects where time to market is critical.

We  look forward to this partnership and supporting  Geocene and their end-customers around the world..” said Dan Klaeren, VP Global Sales, Ignion

About Ignion 

Founded in Barcelona, Spain, as an independent antenna product business in 2015, the Virtual Antenna® technology is already embedded in more than 30 million IoT devices worldwide. Ignion has assembled a leading R&D and engineering team to make RF easier and more predictable using their revolutionary antenna products and ground-breaking cloud services that meet the ever-evolving requirements of IoT wireless connectivity.

Ignion has corporate offices in Spain, USA, and China as well as several strategic partnerships with the leading module makers and transceiver OEM’s.


About Geocene

Based in Vallejo, California, Geocene is a premium consultancy that specializes in helping teams build Internet of Things products. Geocene becomes an integrated technology partner by asking questions, listening a lot, and thinking hard about how each change will affect the user experience.  With expertise in everything an IoT device needs, including hardware, communications, mobile apps, backend systems, and data platforms, Geocene delivers end-to-end solutions for their customers.