What is a patent?

If you request it, you can be issued a printed letters patent.

A patent is an exclusive right, which means that only you can exploit your invention.

This refers to commercial exploitation, such as making, selling, using and importing the invention. Patents protect intellectual property in the same way as fences, locks and insurances protect your material property. You can sell your patent or license someone to commercially utilise the patented invention.

What kind of inventions can be patented?

For how long?

A patent is in force in the countries where it has been applied for and granted. In Finland, patents are granted by the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH). The European Patent Office (EPO) also has the right to grant European patents that are valid in Finland. The patent is in force for a limited period of time, usually no longer than for 20 years from the filing date of the application. To keep a patent in force, you have to pay annual fees.

Read more about how to apply for a national patent in Finland.
Read more about the European patent.
Patent fees and their payment.

Why patents?

Patents are a way to make inventions public. A patent is an exchange between the inventor and society: you disclose your invention to a patent authority and agree that it is made public after a period of time, normally 18 months from filing the application (the filing date). Provided the invention meets the legal requirements, you will be given the exclusive right to the invention for a certain period of time.

Printable version
Latest update 08.03.2017