The Angel of Inventors since 2009
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    By  Leo Siemann


     1. SKYPE –   Software application which allows to make phone calls over the internet.  Probably the most modern and well known Estonian invention in the World today. Peer-to-peer telephone system and method , which is known nowadays as Skype was invented and written by Estonian software developers Ahti Heinla and Priit Kasesalu. Applicant of the patent is Skype LTD  (Originally Skyper) , which was founded by  Swedish entrepreneur Niklas Zennström and Dane Janus Friis. Two more developers – Jaan Tallinn and Toivo Annus contributed to Skype and are known as Skype founders also.  The priority date goes back as far as 16.07. 2003.  Domain names and were registered as wasn’t available. The very  first version of  the Skype was released in August 2003. Patent applications are visible here:

    Family list
    12 application(s) for: EP1649676 (A2)
    12 PEER-TO-PEER TELEPHONE SYSTEM in my patents list
    Inventor:  HEINLA AHTI [EE] ; KASESALU PRIIT [EE] Applicant:  SKYPER LTD [GB] ; HEINLA AHTI [EE] (+1)
    EC:   H04L12/14H04L29/06; (+3) IPC:   H04L12/14; H04L12/50; H04L29/06; (+11)
    Publication info: WO2005009019 (A2) – 2005-01-27
    WO2005009019 (A3) – 2005-04-28
    Priority Date: 2003-07-16

    Data supplied from the espacenet database — Worldwide

    Skype users have grown rapidly ever since. The latest record  number of users online  was over 28 million at 1800 GMT  on Jan. 17th, 2011.

    Ebay bought Skype in September 2005 for $ 2.6 billion. Ambient Sound Investments was established in 2003 as an equal partnership by four founding engineers at Skype Technologies to hold a minority stake in Skype. At the end of 2005 ASI sold its stake to eBay and now operates as a private investment company.


    Go: OR

     2. MINOX  CAMERA  – Invented by  Walter Zapp in 1936.  Although born as Latvian,  Walter started to develop his camera in Tallinn, where he was living at the time.  Patent was filed in Estonia, but as we had no proper industry to provide technical conditions for production of the Minox, work was undertaken by  Latvian electrotechnical factory VEF. Production continued later on in Germany. Funny enough , but all 3 countries are claiming to be the country of orign.  Well, actually he invented his camera in Tallinn as the first model was called ” the Tallinn Minox “. Production was started in Latvia and camera became famous in Germany, where production continued in large scale .  Minox camera became well know as  it was especially suitable for intelligence agents …   Walter Zapp lived his later life in Switzerland , where he also died in 2003.

    Spy ‘  more :


    T5 and soldiers having’ their break

     3. PAPELLO’s  CANNON. Inventor Karl Papello was well ahead of its time. Perhaps it was Estonian Nokia what he had invented after all. He designed a specal pice of electronics which was enable to predict aircraft position by its noise. Data was transmitted to gun control equipment … It was so unheard invention at the time that even Estonian Defence Ministry could not to bellive it !  But  orders were submitted on behalf of the British and Swedish Ministries of Defense and the U.S. Army. Finally our army gave in and installed Papellos cannons. Papello invented also so called ” Electronic ear ” which was able to predict batterys location by the noise of the fire. Swedish Defence Ministry ordered 4 cannons but our banks were not willing to underwrite. As a result, Papello left Estonia in 1932 for Germany, Carl Zeiss firm, where he became a recognized engineer. Karl Papello had more than 100 patents on his name. 


    4. BERNHARD SCHMIDT’S  TELESCOPE   – Invented by Estonian-Swedish optician  Bernhard W. Schmidt in 1930.  His case is very unique as Bernhard happened to lose his arm by accident in age of 15 … But his determination and curiosity was rewarded. He became the guy’  to fix massive telescopes in Germany where he spent the most of his adult life.  His telescope corrected  optical errors making possible for the first time the construction of very large, wide-angled reflective cameras of short exposure time for astronomical research. Unfortunately there wasn’t much money around after the war, so he couldn’t make a lot either. Othervise he would of been a rich man as his work made a nice breaktrough in astronomy at the time.

    For  much closer & wider look  :


     5.  LACTOBACILLUS  FERMENTUM  ME-3  RELATED PRODUCTS  – Discovered by the group of scientists at the University of Tartu in 2001.  It is a novel anti-microbial and anti-oxidative probiotic.  LF ME-3  has a high anti-microbial effect on Escherichia coli, Shigella sonnei, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, and moderate activity against Helicobacter pylori strains. It can be used in food industry  such as milk products and in medicine as probiotic in form of tablets & capsules. Patent belongs to University of Tartu and has been licensed to  “TERE”  dairy company in Estonia.  Discovery and following innovation was made by group of scientists  :  Mikelsaar Marika , Zilmer Mihkel , Kullisaar Tiiu , Annuk  Heidi and Songisepp Epp and won the Gold medal in Lady Inventors Awards in Soul 2008. 

    *Patent was granted for: Strain of microorganism Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 as novel antimicrobial and antioxidative probiotic.

    International Patent Application can be found :


     6. SEPPO’S FIXATION DEVICE – for the surgical treatment of the femoral neck fractures. Invented by well known Estonian suregon and Docent Dr. Arnold Seppo. Invention was published in his book : “Metallic osteosynthesis of bone fractures “ in Tallinn, 1975 .

    As he designed his reponator-fixator in times of  occupation, the patent could not been issued as Soviet practice in matters of inventions by citizens of USSR. But we can read from Dr. Seppo’ s letter to the editor of the  “Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery”  in US where he mentions the fact that device has been patented already in Great Britain, France , America and Japan.

    Dr. Arnold Seppo also improved the methods of treatment of severe burns. His recipe for the special ointment is well known even in these days. As a matter of fact you can buy it from  pharmacy in Tallinn. 



    This old brand dates back to St. Petersburg, Russia in 1906 where Estonian musician Michail Toomas Paiste invented & produced his first cymbals for the customers at his own workshop. Toomas moved back to Estonia where he started productionline and his business, making cymbals for concert and marching bands till the great war broke in 1940. Luckily he found his way out to Poland from where he immigrated with his family to Germany and from there they moved on to Switzerland in 1957. Their family business has been run through 3 generations, making Paiste well established music instruments producer in the World which has provided cymbals for many well know rockstars and other bands. Paiste HQ is based in Nottwil, Switzerland till today. Find out more :


    8DFK Adhesives by  Dr. Agu Aarna ( 1915-1989 ). 

    He was well known academical scientist of Oil shale industry in Soviet Estonia. His study enabled the TTU team to produce new kind of adhesives in 1960s. The franchise of the DFK was bought by japanese in 1976 and was also widely used all over the former USSR. Agu Aarna became also well known public member through national quiz “Tarkade klubi ” aka ” Wize Men Club ” which was broadcasted in Estonian Radio every Sunday morning. 



    In fact it is the first and only diagnostic device for painless measurement of bio-mechanical properties of biological tissues such as muscles , tendons and other soft tissues. Myoton can give the feedback of your muscle tone, stiffness and elasticity. It can be well helpful device to prevent  injuries in high-performance sports.  Myoton  can also tell us more about muscle recovery . One of the high profile users of  Myoton is Beijing Sport University, who opened its lab by Olympic Games 2008. MyotonPRO participated successfully in the 55th Parabolic Flight Campaign organized by European Space Agency in Bordeaux. Myoton has been invented by Dr. Arved Vain at University of Tartu, Estonia. The next genereation of Myotons are under  the development  for global markets and likely to become common as Polar Watch within next 3 years.

    For more information please visit :


    10. METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DETECTION AND ANALYSIS OF BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS THROUGH LASER INDUCED FLUORECENCE. – Invented by  Kurg Ants, metspalu Andres and Berik Jevgeni. The present invention enables to analyze fast and accurately biological samples. The method includes prior mapping of the DNA chip with a CCD camera, addressed excitation of samples, and recording of fluorescence spectra via ultra-fast spectrometer.

    US Application  available to view :




    * LAPREX – THE KING OF STONES ( in Latin )

    Or Silikaltsiit in estonian  was invented by Johannes Hint after the war in 1940-s. It is special mix of sand and Ca(OH)2 which goes through desintegrator and as the result of the process it will end up very strong and naturally warm building material. Two factories were established to build these massive blocks in Estonia – one in Palivere and another at Aravete.  And as there was obvious deficit of building materials after the war, laprex became very popular one in Soviet Estonia and Russia soon. Many block houses were built which didnt always go with surroundings, but surely did the job at the time !   If you happen to travel around Estonia you can see many of them even in these days …

    * Many Estonian inventoins are software related nowadays: GrabCAD , , TaxiPal , Click & Grow , Primefish and TransferWise are just few of them. I am confident, there are lot more to come up as we have the legacy of Skype & also the dezire to go for it  🙂






    The other industry which is rising its head is nano-technologies . I believe Estonia is one of the top nanocountries in the World today. The latest news from this era was made by Heiti Paves whos nano-photo won the first prize at Nikon Small World ! 

     Also we got some good stuff  happening in the music industry. As we all know Estonia piano has been well known for many years. But the latest newcomer is Chord Viola by Gabriel Passov, which is still in progress & looking for the investment. Despite that Mr. Passov is braking news already …  For more please go : &


    © 2013

    Chord Viola









    © Leo Siemann 2009 / 2016