For years Norges Vel functioned as the ministry's advisor in patent cases. During that period, patents on innovations were granted by the King, var i en årrekke departementets rådgiver i patentsaker. På den tiden ble patenter på nye oppfinnelser innvilget av Kongen. That is, the government in the state council.
Patent applications gradually increased in numbers and became more arduous to work through. In 1885 new legislation was introduced, and the cases were taken over by the newly created patent commission. Over the course of Norges Vel handling the cases, 3 511 patent cases were handled.
One of the applications was regarding an attack boat constructed of wood. Made by Mikkel Hallsteinsen Lofthus from Kjepso in Ullensvang. The boat was to rowed under what, and sink enemy ships by drilling into their hull and blowing them up. The submarine cause a big stir. Norway was at war and under blockade with vital supplies to Norway greatly reduced.
Norges Vel showed strong interest in the attack boat, and in the years of 1812 and 1813 there were attempts at following through with the idea. Looking at the plans from Lofthus, sceptisism is the natural reaction. The sub would be difficult to steer, the air intake was vulnerable and when you submerged there was no system for getting back to the surface.
In contrast to this, Jacob Mørch was luckier with his patent. He was also the first person to get a patent, by Royal resolution in 1842. The patent concerned a method of conserving lobster for inland transport.
Another example of a well known Norwegian invention from that time is the world's first grenade-harpoon that was created by Svend Foyn and patented during the 1873-1883 period.