Is Valkee’s earlight a finnish invention?

or: How to con a president, part 1.

When Juuso Nissilä and Antti Aunio applied for a patent for their earlight device in 2006, the answer of the finnish patent office was short and clear:

no-finnish-patent

None of their 13 claims or “inventions” was patentable. 12 were already invented by other people and patented before. One claim was unclear and could not be checked. One was not patentable even if it had been new: diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in humans cannot be patented in Finland.

A 4-year legal battle ensued then, resulting in a quite strange variant: Patented were LEDs in earphones, in case they were connected to a cable, that was linking to a controller, which must be operated by a user using software.

In other words: Earlight treatment is not a finnish invention, and especially it is not Valkee’s. Extraocular bright light is not. The ear canaI as a route was known before. And light-emitting ear plugs were not new. The idea of influencing one’s emotions with earlight was also preexisting.

What did Nissilä and Aunio invent to justify an INNOSUOMI award?

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