Applying for Utility Model Protection
A utility model application is filed in writing with the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland (patent office). The application must contain the description of the invention and at least one claim. The specification usually also includes a figure illustrating the invention. The patent office does not examine the validity of the registration. However, the patent office may be requested to examine the novelty of the invention against charge. If the application has been formally correctly drafted, the utility model is registered. Standard handling time of applications is 3 to 6 months. The granted registration is valid for 4 years. After that, the utility model may be renewed twice: first for four and then for two years. The maximum protection time therefore comprises 10 years.
Utility model application abroad
In addition to Finland, for instance Germany and Denmark have a utility model system, but in many countries a similar law does not exist. However, the scope of protection of a utility model application may be extended outside Finland if desired: during the so-called priority time of one year, a corresponding application may be filed in the relevant country either as a utility model or patent application.