Chinese telecoms giant Huawei filed less than half as many patents as South Korean rival Samsung last year, a report revealed yesterday.

Huawei, which is in the midst of building a £125 million R&D centre in the UK, filed 1077 patent applications with the European Patent Office in 2013, bringing the total number of European patent filings made by the firm before the end of last year up to 7,300. Meanwhile, Samsung, the most active patent filer in Europe for the last two years, filed 2,833. 

The Shenzhen-headquartered firm, which is aiming to compete more directly with Samsung in the smartphone market, was ranked in 11th place, sandwiched between Swedish rival Ericsson and Japanese electronics firm Panasonic, which came in 10th and 12th place respectively.

“Huawei is one of the top patent owners in the world,” claimed Cindy Bian, Patent Counsel for the Intellectual Property Rights Department at Huawei. “We held over 36,500 granted patents by the end of 2013. Our role as a top applicant in Europe highlights our focus on innovation, as well as our commitment to the European business environment.”

“Our patent filings result from our commitment to R&D and our relentless pursuit of innovation,” Samsung told the FT. “We will continue our contributions to the industry’s development, and continue to bring greater benefits to our customers.”

Tech vendors such as Philips, LG and Siemens also featured in the top 10.

In total the European Patent Office received a record 265,000 patent filings last year, 2.8 per cent more than in 2012. Of the total patents, 9,101 were for digital communication technologies, down seven percent on last year, while 9,059 were for computer related technologies, up five percent on last year.