Nokia Patent Portfolio

Company Overview and Patent Portfolio


Nokia is a Finnish telecommunications company that was founded in 1898. They used to be the largest producer of mobile phones, but are now just one among several big players. In 2011 they had 130,050 employees and sales of € 38.7 bn.


Region and Number of Patent Application

Nokia’s key metrics show that they have had fast growth during the early years of the mobile phone development – growth at much higher pace than the sample’s average growth. Since then, this growth has turned into fast decline. Nevertheless, with 19,889 patent applications published in 2011-2013, they are slowly recovering when compared to the 20,833 patent applications published in the longer 2007-2012 period. With € 4.9 bn in R&D investment in 2011, Nokia is slightly above the sample average expenditure. Their total applications published, however, are much fewer than the sample average. Even recently, they have not been even near their competitors’ efficiency. The average age of their top 10 patents is just 9.9, which is more than the average.


Citation Analysis

Unfortunately for Nokia, their relatively high R&D intensity and low patent publication rate do not mean that they then have a high ratio of forward citations. Their 2.49 forward citations per patent application published lead to a much lower ratio than the sample average of 4.11. This means that Nokia’s patent quality is, even though the average age of their top 10 patens is below average, low and so is the rate of forward citations. Nokia’s forward citations look very much like most other companies in the sample. They are the largest citer of their patents; yet 9,461 citations out of 181,215 is a relatively low number. Nokia’s technologically weak position reflects their position in the current market for mobile phones, where they are struggling to catch up to a market that is dominated by high-end smartphones.



When categorised through Campbell’s (1983) company types, Nokia falls into the loser category. They show a low patent activity, immediacy, dominance and scope despite having a R&D intensity that is higher than the sample average. Nokia’s low dominance, which is reflected in their low number of forward citations, shows that Nokia’s technology is not in demand, as they have been slow at responding to the market’s technological shift from mobile phones to smartphones.

Analysis of the Patent Portfolio (PDF)

You can find the complete patent portfolio analysis of Nokia below: