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Published: 3 December 2009

Domestic and European patenting by enterprises on the increase

Domestic patenting by enterprises and associations declined steadily from 2000 to 2005, when enterprises filed 1,371 domestic patent applications. The decline halted in 2006, when slight growth was recorded, but in 2007 the number of applications fell again and totalled 1,349. In 2008, the number of applications began to show growth again and enterprises or associations filed 1,397 domestic patent applications. In 2008, the number of enterprises or associations having filed patent applications rose to 512 whereas in 2007 they numbered 467. Examined by industry, patenting increased in the manufacture of wood and wood products, and in the manufacture of metal, metal products and machinery. By contrast, in the manufacture of electrical and optical equipment the number of enterprises’ domestic patent applications fell clearly, from 226 in 2007 to 141 in 2008.

The number of European patents granted by the European Patents Office to Finnish enterprises or associations went up slightly, from 732 in 2007 to 768 in 2008. The electronics industry was again fairly dominant, as 450 of the European patents were granted to enterprises in this industry.

A total of 1,946 patents were applied for in Finland in 2008. This is slightly below the figures for 2006 and 2007 when patent applications numbered around 2,010 and 2,020. Most of this is explained by a fall in the number of applications from abroad. Because international patenting has increased, the number of foreign applications made direct in Finland has been low for some years now. However, the proportional change from 2007 is significant, as 211 foreign applications were still made in 2007 but in 2008 they only numbered 148.

Calculated from information on the inventors’ places of domicile given in the patent applications, approximately 40 per cent of the domestic patent applications were filed in 2008 by inventors resident in the region of Uusimaa. The share of Uusimaa was unchanged from the year before. Pirkanmaa had the next largest share of 11 per cent.

The number of patents granted in Finland went up by 68 from 2007 and totalled 998 in 2008. Of these, 668 were granted to enterprises or associations. The number of patents granted to enterprises was slightly over 100 higher than in 2007 when 559 patents were granted. The numbers of granted patents grew most in the sections of electricity, chemistry and metallurgy, and textiles and paper. The growth applied to patents granted to domestic applicants, which went up from 619 in 2007 to 729 in 2008, whereas patents granted to foreign applicants decreased from 301 to 269.

In 2008, European patents validated in Finland numbered 5,210, which is slightly over 200 patents more than in 2007. The main sections of the European patents were chemistry and metallurgy (24 per cent of all European patents) and human necessities (21 per cent).) Germany (1,144 patents) only just passed the U.S.A. (1,104 patents) as the assignee of the largest number of European patents validated in Finland.

Figure: Domestic patents granted to enterprises and associations in 2000-2008

Figure: Domestic patents granted to enterprises and associations in 2000-2008

Source: Patenting 2008. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Ari Leppälahti (09) 1734 3237,

Director in charge: Leena Storgårds

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Updated 3.12.2009

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Patenting [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-3023. 2008. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 9.12.2023].
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