Utility models

A utility model is, similar to a patent, a right to exclude. The holder of a utility model has the right to exclude others from commercial utilisation of the invention in accordance with his or her utility model. Forms of commercial utilisation include such acts as making, selling, using, and importing of a product protected by a utility model (for further information, see Act on Utility Model Rights, section 3).

The right to exclude covers a restricted territory; it is in force in the countries where a utility model has been applied for and granted. The Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) grants utility models in Finland. The right to exclude is in force for a limited period of time, generally no longer than for 10 years from the filing date of the application (for further information, see under How to Renew a Registration).

A utility model right may be sold or licensed. In compensation the licensee pays the utility model holder, for instance, a specified percentage of the income produced by the invention (royalty).

Current affairs

Patent filings at the EPO - Finland among the top three

Patent filings at the European Patent Office (EPO) grew by 2.8% last year and hit another all-time high. European countries have the most applications per inhabitants, showing that Europe continues to be a key market for innovation. The technological strength of the leading European countries is also reflected in the figures for European applications per million inhabitants: With 832 applications Switzerland tops the list, ahead of Sweden (402) and Finland (360).

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