Patent activity propelled Finland to the top of list, according an index compiled by American news agency Bloomberg, which gauged innovation through patent trends, among other metrics.
"Nokia patented a lot which led many companies in Finland to follow suit," Kaisa Suominen, a European patent expert with Finnish patent attorney company Moosedog, told Yle News of Finland's eagerness to patent.
Bloomberg's ranking places the United States and China - two of the world's largest economies - behind Finland, which has a relatively high per capita number of patents, according to Suominen.
Neighbouring Sweden tumbled five notches to number seven, surpassed, for example, by Israel whose increased patent activity helped it jump ahead five spots over last year.
Patents boost Finland's standing
While Bloomberg's ranking system rewards strong patent systems, which give inventors protection over their inventions, patent regimes have increasingly come under fire for slowing entrepreneurship and growth.
Suominen said she doesn't agree with this criticism, but added that an invention has to be novel and innovative for the system to work.
Finnish companies have actively sought to trademark their inventions thanks to state-backed innovation funding financing companies' initial patent applications.