Applying for a Patent
A patent is applied for in writing from the Finnish Patent and Registration Office. The application must contain a description of the invention, i.e. specification. In addition, the novel and unique features of the invention need to be precisely stated in the claims, as well as the subject matter that the exclusive right is applied for.
The claims are the core of the application, since they define the scope of protection of the patent. The description shall be sufficiently clear to enable a person skilled in the art, with the guidance thereof, to carry out the invention. It is advisable to search out professional help when drafting an application. Also examples of the function of the invention as well as drawings illustrating the invention are often attached to the specification.
At the publication stage of the patent application a Finnish or Swedish translation is required, but at present the specification and claims are often originally drafted and filed in English, since the patent office will also examines applications in English.
The patent office examines the patentability of the application, issuing official actions and decisions. After the patent has been granted, a 9-month opposition period begins, during which third parties can file oppositions against the granted patent.
The granted patent remains in force for 20 years from the filing date provided that the prescribed annual fees are paid.