Patenttiagenttien tuntematon ryhmä 1800-luvun lopun Suomessa


  • Matti La Mela


The Unknown group of patent agents in late nineteenth- century FinlandThis article studies patent agents and their networks in late nineteenth-century Finland—a largely ignored theme in the Finnish scholarship. At the time, the international markets for technology expanded, national patent institutions were reformed but also cemented as the basis of inventor protection; patent agents helped the domestic and international inventors to navigate inside and between the national patent systems. The study focuses on patent intermediation in the peripheral Finnish context and takes use of administrative patent documents which contain information about the application process, the patents granted abroad, and the powers of attorney (322 patents issued between 1868 and 1892). During the period, about one hundred people (other than the inventor) delivered patent applications, but a handful of agents emerged as key actors especially concerning foreign patents (after the mid-1880s, five agents managed 81 percent of the patents by foreign applicants). The Finnish regulations required the foreign applicants to name a representative in Finland, but otherwise the patenting process was not very detailed. Notably, the Finnish patentees did not use intermediation services, but many applied for a patent themselves.The main figure in patenting was Rudolf Kolster (patent agent in 46 cases), a German-born engineer and lecturer at the Helsinki Polytechnic, who managed large, international patents and had clients in the Russian Empire and Central Europe. Kolster was among the technical professionals who took a prominent role in the state patent administration and examination. Many agents with legal background worked with the Swedish, engineer-led patent agencies, which had taken a major role in Finland already in the 1870s. Carl Johan Timgren (30 patents, second after Kolster), court judge and state official, cooperated with the Swedish Zacco & Bruhn. The article suggests that effect of the activities and strategies of the agents on technology transfer and accordingly the view of active and state-led learning from abroad should be reviewed.




La Mela, M. (2017). Patenttiagenttien tuntematon ryhmä 1800-luvun lopun Suomessa. Tekniikan Waiheita, 35(3), 5–24. Noudettu osoitteesta