What must a utility model application contain?

Your utility model application must contain an application form and the following parts:

  • a description of the invention
  • claims
  • drawings if needed

You may also need:

  • a statement on the right to the invention if the applicant is a company or if there are several inventors
  • a power of attorney if you use an attorney or agent.

Please note that you should prepare your application carefully right from the start, as you have very limited possibilities to add or change any details in the application later.

A model application:

Instructions on how to use the model:

Language of filing

Draw up your application in either Finnish or Swedish. Before registering the utility model, we need a translation of the claims into Swedish or Finnish, too. If you are a private applicant, you can ask us to translate the claims for you. Go to our price list.

You can also file your application in another language and receive a filing date, but we will not check whether the invention can be registered or not before the application has been translated into Finnish or Swedish.

Description of the invention

The description must always be in written form. A prototype or an oral explanation cannot be accepted as the description of a utility model application. The description must be so clear and complete that those skilled in the art would be able to use the invention.

The description must include everything that is necessary for understanding the invention, since you later have limited possibilities to add anything new to the application. You may change the claims during the processing of the application, but the required information must be found in the application, either in the original claims or in the description. Otherwise you can only make necessary clarifications, for instance correct misspellings. It is therefore better to explain too much than too little of the invention.

The description must begin with a short and factual title of the invention. The title of the invention has to be repeated at the beginning of the claims.

Start the description by explaining the scope of the invention. Also, present the state of the art, or the technical field of the invention. The state of the art refers to known solutions, on which the invention is based. If the invention is an improvement of an already existing device, you have to describe the device. If you are aware of patent or utility model publications or some other form of literature describing the state of the art, you must refer to them in the description.

You must explain in the description what is achieved with the invention in comparison to the state of the art. Typically this is done by describing the problems or deficiencies that have emerged when the known techniques have been used, and how your invention can remove such deficiencies. In addition, the purpose of the invention must be indicated by referring to the claims.

Lastly, provide a detailed description of the invention. Start this part by writing a list of the drawings in the application. Describe at least one example in more detail, in which you explain at least one possible way to implement the inventive idea of your invention. Of course you can give more examples. We recommend that you use the reference numbers of the drawings in the description, but note that the invention must be clearly explained in the description also without the drawings.

See an example of a description (in Finnish).

Claims

The claims are the most important part of the application. They define the scope of the utility model, i.e. what the holder of the utility model obtains exclusive right to. The description and the drawings are only used to help you understand and interpret the claims. You may change the claims during the processing of the application but the required information must be found in the application, either in the original claims or in the description.

Formally, the claims consist of two parts: the preamble and the characterising part. Start by writing the title of the invention in the preamble and continue by describing the features of the invention that are already known. The characterising part shows the new and inventive features of the invention. Separate the two parts with the phrase ‘characterised in that’ or with an equivalent expression. To sum up, begin by describing the features of your invention that are previously known, then add ‘characterised in that’ and describe the new and inventive features of your invention.

An application may include several independent and dependent claims:

  • an independent claim: the most important features of the invention, defines the scope of protection
  • a dependent claim: refers to an independent claim, supplements the invention and sets out additional features and provides alternative embodiments

The claims either relate to a device or a product. What is described is the structure of a device and the composition of a chemical product. A chemical product can also be defined by disclosing its manufacturing process.

Please note: Utility model protection cannot be granted to a method or use. However, you can protect a method or use with a patent.

The application may contain several claims, but they must all be linked with a single inventive concept. If this is not the case, the set of claims would be lacking in unity. The claims may not include vague definitions.

See an example of a claim (in Finnish).

Drawings

Drawings are not compulsory, but we recommend that you submit them. Use contour drawings on A4 paper. The drawings can also be black-and-white, reproducible photographs, if they clearly show the invention. Do not attach any explanatory texts to the drawings. Instead provide them with reference numbers for the invention. Use these numbers in the description and the claims after the phrase describing the parts of the invention.

See an example of a drawing (in Finnish).

Read more about how to draw up a utility model application in the Utility model guide (in Finnish) (pdf, 3.01 Mb). The Utility model guide is also available in Swedish (pdf, 3.01 Mb).

How to submit a utility model application to the PRH?

Printable version
Latest update 11.06.2019