Large increase in number of patent applications
Technology and innovation
patent, Patents, design and trademarks, patents, design, trademarksResearch and innovation in business enterprise sector , Technology and innovation
The statistics cover applications for patent-, design- and trademark protection, by industry and type of field. In 2015 the Norwegian Patent Office received 1 805 patent applications.

Patents, design and trademarks2015



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Large increase in number of patent applications

The Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) received 1 805 patent applications in 2015, an increase of 15 per cent compared to 2014. Number of applications is at the same level as in 2010 and has varied the latest years.

Number of applications for patents, design and trade marks
20152011 - 2015
Total number of applicationsOf which: Filed by Norwegian applicants. Percentage shareTotal number of applications. Percentage change
Patents1 80562.23.6
Design1 21420.617.0
Trade marks16 68824.99.6

Intellectual property rights are often used as an indicator for creativity and as an output indicator for R&D and innovation, in particular for patents. However, there are some reservations about using such rights as output indicators in this field.

High level of patenting

The large increase in the number of patent applications was mostly due to the high activity among international applicants. They accounted in 2015 for 36 per cent of total applications. This per centage was much higher before Norway joined the EPO (European Patent Organisation ) in 2008. Before this year the international applications amounted to about three quarters of total applications received. The new system has resulted in far more international applicants using the PCT system, rather than to apply directly to the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO)

There have also been several applications filed by Norwegians in 2015. Three-quarters of the national applications came from enterprises, while the rest was sent by people with or without a registered enterprise.

Several applicants filed trademark registrations

The number of the received trademark applications grew 7.5 per cent from 2015. This growth came from Norwegian applicants, but also and primary from international applicants who chose to validate its brand in Norway through the Madrid Protocol.

Enterprises in Norway accounted for about 22 per cent of all filed trademark applications in 2015.

Design Applications

There were 1214 applications for design protection in 2015, marginally lower than the previous year. The figures show that the number of applications send directly to the Norwegian Patent Office decreased from both Norwegian and foreign applicants. However, the number of foreign applicants who chose to apply for a design registration in Norway via the Hague System, has grown by 11 per cent in 2015.

Still high patent activity within building/construction and thermodynamics

NIPO uses the International Classification IPC to classify patents and patent applications. This classification is based on the invention’s technical character. As in 2014, the largest groups of applications in 2015 are for technology related to building/construction and thermodynamics, where the majority of these applications are associated to the extraction of oil and gas.

Large enterprises focusing mostly on patents

Patents are mainly applied by either very small firms with fewer than 10 employees or very large enterprises with more than 200 employees. The number of filed applications per large enterprise was higher than per small enterprise on average. While large enterprises had an average of 4.8 applications per enterprise, showed small enterprises about 1.4 applications per entity.

Small enterprises aiming for design registration

Total figures for 2015 show that those seeking most design registrations are small enterprises with up to 10 employees. Among these are several persons that operate their own business. The small companies were behind 37 per cent of all design applications in 2015, while the large enterprises with at least 200 employees accounted for only 6 per cent.

Who in business applied the most in 2015?

Norwegian patent applications have been linked to data sources from Statistics Norway. These data sources contain information on the applicant’s industry classification and employment. The linked data reveled, among other things that the type of application varies by industry affiliation. The results for 2015 showed that most patent applications come from industries such as technical consultants, machinery industry, services related to oil and gas as well as wholesale trade. These industries together accounted for 44 per cent of all patent applications submitted in 2015.

The data also shows that industries searching to ensure rights on trademarks and designs tend to overlap. Applications are most prevalent in trade, particularly wholesale trade, but also within retail.

In addition there is a great deal of applications in professional, scientific and technical activities otherwise, who are also large groups of applicants when it comes to patenting.

Food and beverage industry is also a significant group of applicants what trademark protection concerns, but has few patent applications. Trademark applications from the area of computer, programming and consultancy were received as well. Meanwhile, design rights were searched by trade industries and technical areas as well as the fabricated metal products industry.