Registration of Trademarks in Finland
Trademarks may be registered in Finland, in the EU or as international trademarks in the so-called Madrid system. The registering authority in Finland is the Finnish Patent and Registration Office. The registration systems vary somewhat in different countries.
Registration of trademarks in Finland
The protection process relating to trademarks is in Finland started by filing a trademark application with the Finnish Patent and Registration Office. In addition to the details of the applicant, the application contains information concerning the trademark to be protected and the goods or services for which the trademark is to be protected, i.e. the goods or services in the marketing of which one wishes to obtain the right to deny others from using similar trademarks (exclusive right to the trademark).
During the application process, the Finnish Patent and Registration Office examines whether the trademark is registrable. In case the patent office discovers obstacles for the trademark, it issues an official action that needs to be responded to within the prescribed time. The most typical obstacles for trademark registrations include the following:
- The trademark lacks distinguishing ability
- The trademark may be confused with another trademark or business name registered earlier
- The trademark is somebody’s last name
- The trademark is geographically misleading.
The Finnish Patent and Registration Office does not always accept the registration of a trademark despite responses, which leads to the rejection of the application. The decision to reject may be appealed to the Board of Appeals of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office.
If the Finnish Patent and Registration Office does not find obstacles for the registration of the trademark or the obstacles have been removed, the trademark is advertised in the official trademark gazette. Third parties have the right to oppose the trademark registration by filing an opposition within two months of the date of the public notice. The opposition may be based on an earlier registered trademark, an established trademark, a similar business name or lack of distinguishing ability.