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How to apply for a utility model outside Finland

A utility model registered in Finland only protects the invention in Finland.

In Europe and elsewhere in the world, there are utility model systems similar to the one in Finland for instance in: Denmark, Germany, Spain, Estonia, Russia, Japan and China. However, utility model systems are not very widely used. If a country does not have a utility model system, you can always apply for a patent instead.

Apply during the priority year

When you have submitted a first utility model application, you have to file the application outside Finland within 12 months (the priority year) from the date of filing of the Finnish utility model application and request for priority according to the prior application. Read more about priority in the Patents section.

If you have not applied for priority, you have to apply for a utility model outside Finland before the application becomes available to the public. The utility model becomes public when it is registered, but if needed you can request for postponement. You can postpone registration for a maximum of 15 months. Read more about postponement of registration.

Make sure that your invention is new before applying

Since a utility model application is registered without the novelty search, patenting outside Finland naturally depends on the novelty search carried out by respective Patent Offices. Before deciding to file a utility model application outside Finland, examine or ask someone else to examine the novelty of your invention. Read more about novelty searches.

Same search routes as for patents

You can apply for a utility model outside Finland in the same way as you apply for a patent, but only in the countries that have a utility model system.

Read more about applying for a patent outside Finland in the Patents section.

Printable version Latest update 11.06.2019