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Swedes are among the busiest inventors across Europe

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Researchers in Sweden. Photo: Jan Olof/Image Bank Sweden
11:59 CET+01:00
Almost 2000 Swedish inventions were given the thumbs up in 2015 by the European Patent office (EPO), a record for the Nordic country.
More Swedish scientists, engineers, designers and tech wizards than ever were granted patents by the body in charge of selecting which European products or processes should be given the privilege.
 
Having a patent means that inventors can stop others from making, using or selling their ideas without their consent.
 
The exact number scored by Swedes in 2015 was 1939, an increase of 13.7 percent on 2014, despite a small 0.9 percent drop in the total number of patent applications.
 
Sweden is one of the top places in Europe for submitting new inventions, according to the EPO.
 
Its data, looking at the number of patent applications in relation to a country's population, ranks the Nordic nation third in Europe. Only Switzerland and the Netherlands put in more bids per capita last year.
 

A researcher in Sweden. Photo: Ulf Lundin/Image Bank Sweden
 
The total number of Swedish applications was 3839. However the figures suggest that a large proportion of inventions remain put forward by major Swedish brands, rather than emerging startups.
 

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Telecoms company Ericsson alone applied for 1283 patents in 2015, while Scania, Volvo, Electrolux and SKF each submitted between 150 and 223 ideas.
 
The top three areas in Sweden for patent requests are Stockholm, Gothenburg and Lund, according to the EPO's new data.
 
Sweden, which is the birth place of companies including Spotify, Skype and gaming leader Mojang, has a long-standing reputation for innovation. However, it recently dropped to 10th in a major global ranking, down from second place a decade ago.

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