An office worker sitting at a desk wearing a 3D headset.
 Audiovisual technology was one of the most prominent fields in terms of patent applications from Finland in 2021, indicate statistics from the European Patent Office (EPO). Image: This Is Engineering / Pexels

Finnish patent filings increased by over 11% in 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic did not slow down the flow of patent applications from Finland to the European Patent Office (EPO).

Aleksi Teivainen

04.05.2022

The EPO in April revealed that Finnish companies filed for a total of 2 111 patents last year, signalling a year-on-year increase of over 10 per cent for the second consecutive year. Finland ranked 15th in terms of the absolute number of patent applications and 5th in terms of the relative number of applications, with over 380 applications per million inhabitants.

Only Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands generated more patent applications per capita.

Applications in the field of audiovisual technology, information technology and digital and telecommunication technology made up roughly a half of the applications from Finland. The statistics seem to reflect the surge in remote work and services caused by the pandemic, with patent applications for digital communication solutions jumping by 41 per cent and those for telecommunication solutions by 23 per cent from 2020.

Finnish patent applications in handling fell by over 60 per cent, thermal processes and apparatus by over 27 per cent, and medical technology by 19 per cent.

Nokia was the only Finnish company to rank among the 50 most active patent applicants. The network equipment maker applied for a little over a thousand patents – a rise of roughly 25 per cent from the previous year – to rank 14th in the list of corporate applicants.

While the Helsinki and Uusimaa region continued to make up the vast majority – roughly three-quarters – of the applications from Finland, ranking as the 11th largest region in the EU, last year brought an increase of 60 per cent in the share of applications from eastern and northern parts of Finland. Also Western Finland increased its share of patent applications originating in the country to around 10 per cent.

Espoo climbed a couple of places to become the sixth most active city with 1 252 patent applications, most of which were attributable to Nokia. The only cities that produced more applications were Munich (DE), Paris (FR), Eindhoven (NE), London (GB) and Stockholm (SE).

The EPO also stated that the total number of patent applications grew by 4.5 per cent year-on-year to a new record of 188 600.

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