Processing of utility model applications at the PRH
We will start processing your utility model application when we receive it. Firstly, we carry out a formal examination, and then we check if the invention is eligible for registration.
The average processing time for a utility model application is three months.
Please note that we will not take a stand on the novelty or inventiveness of your invention. That means you are solely responsible for fulfilling the conditions of novelty and inventiveness. Read more about how to determine the novelty of your invention.
The application process includes the following steps (click to read more information further down the page):
- Formal examination
- Registrability check
- How to respond to possible office actions
- Registration and publication
- Possible rejections and appeals
1. Formal examination
Firstly, we check that your application includes all the necessary documents and you have paid the application fee.
If there are any documents missing or the application fee has not been paid, we will send you an office action to inform you of the formal deficiencies found in the application.
You have two months to respond and correct the deficiencies.
You can respond to an office action by sending a free-form letter. Enclose the requested documents or a copy of the payment receipt, or both. Use a headline such as “Response to office action” in the letter.
Make sure you indicate the application number clearly in your response. Describe briefly what you have done to meet the formal requirements. Send your response to us in the same way you sent the application. Read our instructions on how to send us a response to an office action about a utility model application.
2. Registrability check
After the formal examination, we check the registrability of your invention. In other words, we check whether the invention relates to a technical solution that is industrially applicable.
We also check that the invention does not solely relate to
- a discovery, scientific theory or mathematical method
- an aesthetic creation
- a scheme, rule or method for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business
- a computer program
- presentation of data
Further, a utility model cannot be granted to
- plant varieties
- animal breeds
- an invention with uses considered to be against morality or public order
We also check that
- the application text fulfils all the other requirements
- the claims describe one invention only
- the description of the invention is so clear that a person skilled in the art is able to use the invention based on the text
If you need to make corrections to the application documents, we will send you an office action to inform you about the deficiencies found in the application.
You have two months to respond and correct the deficiencies.
Please note that we will not examine the novelty and inventiveness of the invention presented in the utility model application unless you request it separately. The utility model search we carry out on request is completely separate from the registrability check. Read more about the utility model search.
3. How to respond to possible office actions
When responding to an office action, indicate your utility model application number clearly. We will deliver your response to the person processing your application based on the number.
Write a letter and enclose any required documents to remedy the deficiencies reported in the office action. You may need to enclose, for example:
- missing documents
- a copy of the payment receipt, or
- a new set of claims, a revised description or new drawings
To speed up the processing, describe briefly in your response how you have changed and corrected the application and which parts of the original documents the changes are based on. Do not add any new details about the invention to the application.
Send the corrected documents to us so that we receive your response by the deadline given in the office action. We can continue processing your application sooner if we receive your response before the deadline.
Send your response to us in the same way you sent the application. Read our instructions on how to send us a response to an office action about a utility model application.
If you fail to correct the deficiencies by the given deadline, we will send you a decision on dismissing the application, meaning that we will stop processing it. A dismissed utility model application can be reinstated, but only once. If you want to request reinstatement, you must correct the deficiencies and pay a reinstatement fee. See the fee in our price list for utility models.
Make sure you address all the deficiencies reported in the office action and take any other requested measures carefully. Repeated negligence in making corrections will lead to the application being rejected.
4. Registration and publication
Once your application is in order, we will register the utility model and send you a registration certificate. The registration will be published online in the Utility Model Gazette. Go to the Utility Model Gazette.Open link in a new tab
You can get copies of the documents of both registered utility models and published utility model applications for a fee. Read more about ordering copies.Open link in a new tab
Use our free Patent Information Service to take a closer look at the documents that have become public. Patent Information Service contains online application folders for applications filed on 1 January 2007 or later. Go to Patent Information Service.Open link in a new tab
Application documents become public on the registration date or within 15 months of the filing date or priority date (read more about postponing the registration). The documents can be made public earlier if the applicant requests it.
The application documents will not become public:
- if we dismiss the application, in other words, if we stop processing it, or
- if the application is withdrawn or rejected
within 15 months of the filing date or priority date.
5. Rejections and appeals
We will always give you a chance to correct the deficiencies in your application. If the application still does not meet our requirements after the invitation to correct it, we will reject it.
You can lodge an appeal against the rejection with the Finnish Market Court within 60 days of receiving the decision. If the Market Court rejects your appeal, you can lodge an appeal against the Market Court’s ruling with the Supreme Administrative Court if leave to appeal is granted.