Upcoming changes in the Finnish trademark law

The Finnish Government has recently released a brief on reform of the Finnish Trademarks Act. A completely new law proposal has been drafted, with the aim of the new trademark law taking effect from 1 January 2019. Simultaneously, it will implement the EU Directive to approximate the laws of the Member States relating to trademarks, and the Singapore Treaty.

Many changes are proposed, among others:

  • Administrative cancellation and revocation of trademark registrations and registered trade names at the Finnish Patent Office, as options to lawsuits at the Market Court.
  • In opposition proceedings the opponent will have to demonstrate use of its over five-year old trademark, if the applicant demands evidence on use.
  • Graphical representation of trademark is no longer required. The mark must, however, be clear, precise and comprehensible to the public.
  • The protection period of ten years will be calculated from the filing date, no longer from the registration date.
  • Restitution of missed terms will be introduced.
  • Non-responses to official actions in national trademark applications will not lead to applications being totally dismissed, but only to the part there are obstacles to registration.
  • Trademark registrations filed before 31 December 2013 that cover only the Nice Agreement class headings can be amended to include goods that are not within the literal meaning of the class headings. The amendment must be done latest at next renewal.

Please note that the above amendments have not yet been enacted in Finland and may change during the legislation procedure. We will keep you updated.

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