History of Nordic Patent Institute

At the meeting of the Nordic Council of Ministers on 29 September 2003, the Ministers for Trade and Industry noted the need for a closer Nordic cooperation in PCT matters. The Ministers decided to mandate the heads of the Nordic Patent Offices to carry out a feasibility study on the possibility of establishing a Joint Nordic PCT Authority including the possible benefits to users and society.

A Working Party was subsequently established with a mandate to carry out a comprehensive study on the subject.

The study (often referred to as "the blue book") was published in September 2004 and contained a thorough analysis of the number of possible models for the establishment of a Nordic Patent Institute and assesses their potential to meet the established objective of the Joint Nordic PCT Authority. The study also assessed the need for competent patent authorities in the Nordic countries and the challenges that these patent offices might face and whether development trends in general within the Nordic region would support the concept of Nordic cooperation within the industrial property area.

Read the complete study:

After the study was published, discussions started between the Nordic Countries on the establishment of a Joint Nordic PCT Authority. Unfortunately not all the Nordic countries could agree on which model should prevail which resulted with Finland and Sweden backing out of the discussions.

In May 2006 a working group composed of members from the patent offices in Denmark, Iceland and Norway published a new report, a follow-up on the Feasibility Study on Establishment of a Joint Nordic PCT Authority.

The new report contained a detailed proposal for an enhanced Nordic cooperation in the patent field, including in particular the establishment of a Nordic Patent Institute. The report dealt with tasks covered by the Institute, organisation of the Institute, quality assurance under the Institute and legal instruments for establishing the Institute.

The report was based on the notion that the cooperation will initially be between the patent offices in Denmark, Iceland and Norway, but nonetheless stating that it would be possible and desirable to extend the cooperation at a later stage to other patent offices in the Nordic area.

According to the report the Nordic Patent Institute cooperation should contribute to stimulating Nordic companies, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, to innovation and economic growth. This shall be achieved by maintaining and developing the national patent offices as competence centres for Industrial Property Rights in the individual countries, capable of offering customised services of a quality and efficiency which is competitive by international standards.

Cooperation under the Institute should comprise the following services which supplement each other in a synergistic way:

  • PCT applications so the Institute should seek appointment as an International Authority under the PCT system (Patent Cooperation Treaty)and,
  • Contract work, i.e. subcontracted work from external patent authorities and search services for private customers.

The Nordic Patent Institute should in the beginning act as PCT authority for Denmark, Iceland and Norway, but applicants will still have the option of using the existing PCT authorities.

Finally the report stated that in performing its tasks, the Institute should draw, against payment, upon the resources of the national patent offices, and it may therefore be established and operated at very low added costs. It should be financed from fees levied on its services, without any need to increase fees for services offered by the national offices.

Read the complete report:

On July 5, 2006 the Agreement on the Establishing of the Nordic Patent Institute was signed by the governments of Denmark, Iceland and Norway and preparations for starting operations were commenced.

Nordic Patent Institute was appointed as a PCT International Search and Examination Authority by the PCT General Assembly in September 2006.

Nordic Patent Institute started operations on January 1, 2008.


  • Did you know that by using the Global PPH system, a positive PCT report from Nordic Patent Institute can give you the possibility of fast-tracking a corresponding application at 16 other patent offices?
  • Did you know that for a small additional fee, we can add a claim chart to your validity search report, conveniently mapping the relevant references against the claim features for clarity purposes?
  • Did you know that both the Norwegian and the Danish Patent Offices, which perform all searches for Nordic Patent Institute, have over 100 years' experience with patent searching?
  • Did you know that when carrying out their PCT searches, our examiners always search Nordic (Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Finnish) material?
  • Did you know that in validity searches performed by Nordic Patent Institute, references of particular relevance or obviousness-type references were found in about 70 % of the tasks given to us?
  • Did you know that we have started PCT-PPH pilot projects with USPTO and JPO allowing applicants who have chosen Nordic Patent Institute to request a fast-track examination at the USPTO and JPO?
  • Did you know that in certain cases Nordic Patent Institute will refund up to 50 % of the PCT search fee paid by the applicant, if the results from an earlier search can be used to reduce the extent of the ISA search?
  • Did you know that all our examiners are educated at an MSc level or higher, that they have extensive patent examiner training and can search in minimum English, French, German, and the Scandinavian languages?
  • Did you know that when carrying out the prior art searches our examiners have access to more than 850 databases?
  • Did you know that the combined languages skills of our examiners bring our searching fluency to over 30 languages?
  • Did you know that all the prior art searches done by Nordic Patent Institute are performed by the highly qualified and experienced PCT examiners at the Danish and Norwegian Patent Offices?
  • Did you know that our examiners spend about 60 % of their time examining patent applications and 40 % of their time providing prior art searches and assessments to businesses and IP law firms?
  • Did you know that when it comes to the timeliness of ISAs in transmitting ISRs, Nordic Patent Institute has from the beginning been among the best ISAs?
  • Did you know that Swedish nationals and residents can use Nordic Patent Institute as an ISA and/or IPEA when filing a PCT application?