January 8, 2020

Tips on applying for EU funding and registering a trademark, amazing Finnish success stories and opportunities on the Chinese market. We present Kolster’s most read and interesting articles of 2019.  

Did you know that small and medium-sized enterprises may receive, through the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Union, more than EUR 2 million to commercialise their products or services?

Kolster’s lawyer Sanna Häikiö’s overview of EU funding and its application process was some of our most read content of the year.

More than EUR 80 billion was distributed through the EU's Horizon 2020 framework program to all stages of the innovation process in 2014-2020. With the next framework programme, Horizon Europe, the funding will increase to up to EUR 100 billion from 2021 onwards according to the preliminary plans of the Commission.

Finland is continuously contributing to this fund, so companies should learn how to apply for and use this money.

Interested in EU funding? Learn how it can benefit your business.

A trademark is the road to success for a company. Our readers were also interested in avoiding the most common mistakes in trademark registration.

The process involves challenges that you cannot necessarily take into account if you proceed alone. Consequently, it is worthwhile to accept help from an expert early on.

Kolster’s IP lawyers Maria Ojala and Juha Myllyoja explain how to make the most of your trademark.

Learn about the most common pitfalls and how to navigate them here.

Successful innovations take on the world

The most read articles also include amazing growth stories. One of them is the journey of the Oulu-based mobile services company UROS to the top of the world. 

The company, which is building the IoT ecosystem of the future, has become a respected partner to the world’s largest telecom operators, AT&T and China Telecom, and the technology giants Qualcomm and Motorola.

The foundation for the company’s growth is the strong patent portfolio built with Kolster.

Read more about the success story of UROS here.

A pioneer in the digitalisation of seafaring, the growth company KNL Networks is a masterpiece of inventors from Oulu. The intelligent data transfer technology developed by the company has already sailed all the world’s seas.

The company’s field of specialisation has been patented with Kolster in a way that ensures freedom of operation and competitive edge in the heavily patented area of technology.

How did chatting in the sauna among three friends and hobby radio operators result in a global seafaring innovation?

Read more about the creation of the idea revolutionising seafaring here

The start-up company Hookle envisioned by the brothers Seppälä, Tero and Jere, was also of interest to our readers.

The patenting strategy of the mobile application, developed as an easy-to-use aid for small companies in their social media marketing, was refined through cooperation between the brothers and Kolster.

The mobile application has already convinced Google with its intelligence, and sealed a global partnership.

Read more about the innovative start-up company Hookle here.

As a continuation of patent protection, the company is now building its brand with determination – you can read a textbook example of brand protection here.

Finnish inventions are hit products of their day

The Finns are innovative people. This is evidenced by numerous inventions that have been successful around the world, such as AIV fodder, the Abloy lock and the Kohonen map.

To celebrate Kolster’s 145th jubilee year, we featured Finnish inventions from different decades on our website. One invention that aroused interest – and an absolute hit product of its day – is the steel-framed sofa bed heteka.

The heteka was part of the life of two generations and a standard accessory of almost every home in the 1960s. Its production volume was at best around two million units.

Read more about the nine Finnish inventions we presented during the year here.

China – a threat or an opportunity?

The Chinese market is also of interest to our readers. According to the Bloomberg Innovation Index 2019, Finland is the third most innovative country in the world. This excellent starting point encourages Finnish companies to expand their operations to new markets.

However, innovativeness alone does not guarantee any market shares as technology giants, such as China, start to take over the same markets and strengthen their IP competence. According to a study we commissioned in cooperation with the market research company Taloustutkimus, Finnish corporate decision-makers do not regard China as a threat.

Learn about the study commissioned by Kolster here.

Although China has emerged as the world's largest patent applicant, the majority of the 200 Finnish business decision makers who responded to IP specialist organisation Kolster's research did not consider the competition from China as a problem.

According to our European Patent Attorney Kati Leinonen, the result is very surprising and even alarming.

“Chinese companies wish to enter the European market, and the trade war with the US is further accelerating that trend. Over the next couple of years, we will certainly see some very strong electronics, automotive and computer software brands with an IP home in China", Leinonen says.

Read what kinds of ideas the Chinese market and Kolster’s IPR study bring up for our expert.

Kolster also asked experts from various fields whether they see the rise of China as a threat or as an opportunity. Tuomas Kosonen, Partner at Inventure Oy, recognises opportunities especially for start-ups.

“Many of the companies we finance are small. We see that the Chinese are very interested in our start-ups, and we believe that the interest will keep growing”, says Tuomas Kosonen, Partner at Inventure Oy. 

You can read more about the thoughts of experts here.

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