Inventions Utilizing Satellite Navigation Systems in the Railway Industry – An Analysis of Patenting Activity


  • Pekka Salmi Lappeenranta University of Technology
  • Marko T. Torkkeli Lappeenranta University of Technology



Railways, transport, satellite navigation, GNSS, GPS, inventions, patents, signaling, train control.


Applications based on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), in combination with different communication systems, have significantly helped to increase safety, efficiency and system capacity of operations in different modes of transportation. Here railway transport is no exception, although the number of applications based on GNSS has been considerably behind the number of those used in road transport. Since incorporating e.g. GPS receivers into modern signaling, train control and other railway systems has become usual, it is interesting to examine GNSS/GPS-based inventions and patenting trends more closely in this context. This paper analyses GNSS/GPS-related patents in the railway industry in order to shed light on the patenting activity in different countries/regions and to identify (and to a certain extent make a classification of) the main application areas for this technology.


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Author Biographies

Pekka Salmi, Lappeenranta University of Technology

Researcher, Department of Industrial Management

Marko T. Torkkeli, Lappeenranta University of Technology

Prof. of Technology and Business Innovations, Dept. of Industrial Management, Kouvola Unit Visiting Researcher at INESC Porto (Portugal)


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How to Cite

Salmi, P., & Torkkeli, M. T. (2009). Inventions Utilizing Satellite Navigation Systems in the Railway Industry – An Analysis of Patenting Activity. Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 4(3), 46–58.



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