Assessment of results

The principal task of the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) is to process applications for patents, trademarks and designs, and to grant such rights. In 2017 there was a sharp increase in the number of trademark applications.
Key figures for period 2014-2017: 2014 2015 2016 2017
Trademark applications  15 450  16 630 15 702 17 307
Design applications  1 219  1 213 1 229 1 253
Patent applications  1 564  1 805 2 062 2062
Validated European patent applications  2 604  3 340 4 495 5 796


NIPO has an objective of granting more good rights. By this we mean rights of the correct quality, which can be enforced and can be utilised in a good way. We achieve this primarily through our application processing and guidance meeting the the requirements for efficiency, quality and
customer satisfaction.

We received 20,622 applications in 2017, compared with 18,993 in 2016. The increase was due to the record number of 17,307 trademark applications. 4,445 of these applications came from Norwegian applicants, this too being the highest number recorded in the history of NIPO. We have seen a rising number of trademark applications since 2014.

We received 1,253 design applications, around the same level as in the past five years. However, we are seeing a slight decline in the number of design applications from Norwegian applicants.

2,062 patent applications were filed, in line with 2016. Just over half of these were from Norwegian applicants. This represents a small decrease compared with 2016, but is around the same level as in 2015 and not far away from the average for the past 20 years. Patent protection in Norway can also be obtained by applying to the European Patent Office (EPO) for a European patent. This patent is then validated, or in other words, made applicable, in Norway. NIPO received 5,796 patents for validation in Norway in 2017. Around 98% of these have a non-Norwegian owner.

We granted 15,417 patent, trademark and design rights in 2017, while we validated 5,173 European patents which thereby become applicable in Norway. The customer surveys we have conducted show that applicants continue to be highly satisfied with our services.

Priorities from the letter of allocation

Developing the organisation

As in previous years, NIPO devoted most of its resources to processing applications and to other statutory authority tasks. In the letter of allocation for 2017, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries emphasised that special attention should be paid to dealing with the backlog in the area of patents. We are very pleased to report that we met the objective of reducing backlogs over the course of the year.

Customer-oriented organisation

We have continued to put effort into developing and implementing new digital solutions for more effective and customer-friendly communication. This is described in the section "Focus areas of digitisation and efficiency improvement". We have also strengthened the front line by providing the Customer Service Centre with resources that have a broader and deeper IPR expertise.

Cooperating with other organisations

Another priority in the letter of allocation was to enhance cooperation with other public entities concerned with innovation. We cooperated on a number of joint activities in 2017 with good results.

Use of resources

In response to requests to work systematically on making better use of allocated resources and improving productivity, we put particular effort into making the application procedures quicker and more customer-friendly in 2017.

All NIPO staff record the time spent on different activities. In 2017, we devoted around 94% of our time to tasks connected to our role as an authority. This was case management related to patents, trademarks and designs and other authority tasks such as administration, own professional development and work on quality.

Around 3% of time was spent on activities related to raising awareness and knowledge of IPR in trade and industry, and society in general, and around 3% of time was spent on carrying out various types of information services.

NIPO considers the use of resources to have been effective in 2017, in terms of both how we have set priorities and how the resources have been used. Top priority has been given to reducing the backlog of patent applications. We consider both target attainment and use of resources to have been satisfactory in 2017.

NIPO's operating expenditure

In 2017 NIPO had NOK 246,263 million at its disposal.

NIPO salaries and social security expenses accounted for 75.6% of operating expenditure, a slightly lower proportion than in 2016 (77.5%). This is primarily due to a significantly lower pension contribution in 2017 than in 2016.

NIPO revenues

Revenues of NOK 255.274 million were higher than the appropriation carried forward of NOK 245,676 million. The high revenues are mainly due to the high number of trademark applications and more validated European patent applications than expected.

Around 97% of NIPO's revenue is linked to the statutory tasks of a government agency through work in the areas of patents, trademarks and designs, and handling of complaints concerning business names. The area of patents accounts for the largest share of revenues. It is also important to note that a large proportion of NIPO's revenues comes from foreign enterprises wishing to obtain rights in Norway. Revenues from information services (courses and preliminary search examinations) account for a smaller share. Revenues from NIPO's work for the Nordic Patent Institute (NPI) also accounts for a small proportion of total revenue.


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