Why and how to register a trademark in Finland

In Finland, trademark registration is mandatory to be granted rights over a trademark, as it is a "first to file" jurisdiction. Only in some exceptional cases can an unregistered trademark be protected. The trademark applications must be filed with the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH).

Finland is also a member of the European Union, therefore European Union Trademarks (EUTM) are protected in this jurisdiction. It is also a member state to the Madrid Protocol. Thus, the extension of an international registration of a trademark via the Madrid System is possible for this country. For further information regarding our services for trademark filing through the Madrid System click here.

A trademark registered in Finland, whether locally or via the European Union trademark, also grants protection in the Åland Islands.

It is not necessary for a trademark to be in use in Finland in order for it to register. However, prior use may be useful as it can help overcome an objection raised on the grounds of lack of distinctiveness, by proving that the trademark has acquired distinctiveness.

If you register a combined trademark (which includes both word elements and figurative elements) in Finland, the exclusive right to use the trademark is limited to a use of the trademark in the exact configuration or way in which it was filed and registered. If you wish to use the word element of your trademark separately from the logo (or vice versa), it is recommended you register for another trademark including only the word or figurative elements you wish to use and protect separately.

Nevertheless, if a third party eventually intends to register or use a trademark for similar goods or services that includes a primary or distinct part or portion of your trademark, you will have the right to oppose the application based on confusing similarity.

Trademark oppositions in Finland can be filed during the period of two months that follows the date of publication of the trademark application in the official bulletin. The probabilities of success for an opposition will vary in each case depending on the circumstances.

Although a trademark does not have to be in use in order for it to register, it must not go unused for periods of five years or it will become vulnerable to cancellation actions based on lack of use of the trademark. The amount of use must be on a commercial scale.

Registered trademarks in Finland have a validity of ten (10) years from the registration date and can be renewed indefinitely for further periods of ten (10) years. The trademark renewal can be requested as early as twelve (12) months before the expiration date. It can also be requested during the grace period of six (6) months after expiration, upon payment of a late renewal fee.

 

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