Why the number of patents is so low in Estonia ? Why many of our inventions are owned by someone else and Who is the looser ? Looking back we can see that it took 5 years, after our independence was declared in 1991, till we got our 1st patent registered. Why so long ? It seems to me that there is a long lasting tradition not to support inventors in our country. Well, we can say that these characteristics apply to the most of the Ex-Soviet block and current patent law itself is a pain … , but what is our excuse 20 years later ? One seems to be sure - it will take the entire generation to turn these things around.
The average number of patents in Estonia is 30 per year. This is many times lower per person than in western countries, not talking about Japan or USA. Most patents what get registered in Estonia today are foreign and this clearly shows where real money goes ! So what are the reasons ? 1.Often we are lacking of supportive industry like it happened to ” Minox” camera. Walter Zapp had to go back to Latvia where manufacturing of his masterpiece was possible. But more often there is no chance to make even decent prototype like has happened to inventor Erkki Joasoon recently. Why is it that our state has no supportive policies for our inventors ? I personally think it shows clearly the heritage of Soviet Estonia. There are art funds and funds for musicians, but no fund for inventors ! Are we really so poor ? It rather seems to be a great shortage of experts to change the case and goverment policies. It all shows that IP awareness is relatively low in Estonia today. There are no IP studies in our schools either. All these are important reasons why things do not work as they should. And the looser is surely entire country as our IP goes to foreign companies. These companies buying it up for a cheap money in early stage to make massive profits later on. It is extremely important for the state and its inventors to keep its IP, to develop it and then to license it out. If we are not doing it properly then someone else will get the most of the profit and our great idea makes money for someone else ! It is well worth thinking about these things as we run our businesses and make investments on daily basis. Do we really like to be on the same position 20 years later ?
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