Updated: 23.10.2014 - Next update: 31.12.2013

Fewer patents were granted in Finland to Finnish companies in 2013 than in previous years

According to Statistics Finland, the patents received by Finnish enterprises and associations decreased in 2013 by some nine per cent year-on-year. Altogether, Finnish enterprises and associations received 573 patents, and the number hit its lowest level in six years.

Patents granted in Finland to enterprises and associations in certain industries in 2008 to 2013

Statistical release

Statistics Finland / Patenting

Description of indicator

The indicator contains data on patents applied for in Finland by applicant: private person or enterprise and domestic or foreign).

R&D activity generates new knowledge and technology. The introduction and application of these into practice shows as new production processes and products and patents. A patent is a sole right granted by state authorities for a limited period to the exploitation of an invention to its inventor or the holder of the inventor’s rights. For enterprises, it is one indicator of the productiveness of their R&D activity.
Trends in the number of patents reflect the effectiveness of R&D activity and how well it has been possible to commercialise and transfer into practice the knowledge produced. In addition to the effectiveness of R&D activity, the number of patents reflects fluctuations in investments and research efforts. This is also a key factor in the decline in the number of patents in recent years. Other factors influencing the decline in the number of patents include: the deterioration in the economic situation, the fall in GDP, and public spending cuts. Product development and research activity require investment and financing in order to function. Patent indicators reflect the vitality of the private sector, the level of public and private investment, and the attractiveness and competitiveness of Finland and Finnish companies.

In addition to assessing the effectiveness of research activity, patent statistics also facilitate the identification of development trends in different sectors and the finding of new partners. Patent registers provide current information on the priorities of research and innovation activity and on the application of knowledge in companies. Information about new patents increases opportunities for the further development of existing technology, provides weak signals on research trends, and in future will help the more effective targeting of research investments.

In interpreting patent indicators, their statistical limitations should be taken into account. All inventions are not patented and there are differences in patenting practices between different sectors. Processing of patent applications takes time and for this reason patent statistics do not always show the true level of patenting. An examination of patent indicators reveals information about real economic effectiveness only allusively, because patent statistics only show the number of individual patents, and do not classify different types of patents in more detail.