Frequently asked questions

    Can I reserve a trademark?

    A trademark cannot be ‘reserved’. The only way to register a trademark is to file a trademark application. The applicant is entitled to priority from the date of filing of the application over any applications filed at a later date. For an application to become pending it is a requirement that the application has arrived to the the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) and that the application fees have been paid. In other words, if you file an application, and pay the application fee, today, you will obtain better priority than a competitor who files a similar application tomorrow.

    Can I use a trademark even if it has not been registered?

    In Finland, you do not have to register a trademark in order to be able to use it. You can also obtain the exclusive right to a trademark through establishing the mark, i.e. by using it. You can therefore use a trademark even if it has not been registered. In that case, you have to make sure that you do not infringe on the trademark or name rights of others when you use the trademark.

    What should I check before filing a trademark application or before using a trademark?

    Before you file a registration application, we advise you to study the general requirements for registration and the obstacles to registration on our website.

    Furthermore, you should search the databases provided free of charge on the Internet and make sure that no identical or similar marks have already been registered at the Trademark Register or the Trade Register, or entered in the List of Trademarks with a Reputation. The following databases can be used free of charge:

    When you carry out searches, please remember that the search engines in most cases only search for identical marks and do not therefore always take into account the identical pronunciation of words or other similarities. Search for the word ‘ECO’, for example, by writing it with C, K and G, and compounds by writing them in one or several words etc. For further information, please read the search instructions for the databases.

    How do I apply for a trademark?

    You apply in writing to the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH). Please use the forms prepared for this purpose to make sure that the most essential details are included in the application. You can download the form in Finnish or in Swedish on our website.

    Please pay the application fee when you file your application and enclose the receipt with the application. For an application to become pending, it is a requirement that you have paid the application fee. We do not refund the application fee if the application is rejected or dismissed later on.

    You can also apply for a trademark online by filling in an electronic application form in Finnish or in Swedish on our website. In that case, you have to pay the fee using your online banking service before sending the application. To make the payment, you must have the user ID and password or codes required by your online banking service.

    Will the PRH refund the application fee if the application is rejected or dismissed?

    We do not refund the application fee if the application is rejected or dismissed. On the other hand, if or when the application is approved, the trademark is valid for the next ten years from the date of registration with the paid application fee.

    It is advisable to study the conditions of and requirements for registration beforehand to avoid unnecessary application fees. For any further information, please read our web pages.

    How long will the processing of the trademark application take?

    The processing time of trademark applications is an average of 3-4 months.

    Do I need an agent?

    An applicant domiciled in Finland can apply for a trademark without using an agent. A trademark applicant or trademark holder not domiciled in Finland must, on the other hand, have an agent resident in the European Economic Area (EEA). Either a legal or a private person can act as an agent.

    If you consider protecting your trademark abroad, then you should consult trademark agencies and agents. Under the heading ‘Links’ on these trademark web pages you can find more information on trademark agencies and agents in Finland.

    The use of the ® and ™ symbols

    The Finnish Trademarks Act does not lay down provisions on the use of the ® and ™ symbols, but in case law it is considered that the ® symbol must be used only with registered marks. In other words, if a trademark is not registered in Finland or in the EU, there is no reason to use the ® symbol. However, the ™ symbol can be used even if the trademark has not been registered, for example as a symbol for an established trademark or when a trademark application is pending.

    Does a Finnish trademark also provide protection abroad?

    A trademark granted in Finland gives protection only in Finland. If you also wish to have protection abroad, then you have to apply for it separately. There are three options:

    • national trademarks,
    • international trademarks (under the Madrid Protocol), and
    • EU trademarks.

    Which international form of protection should I use: the EU trademark or the international registration under the Madrid Protocol?

    Only the applicants themselves can answer this question. In other words, it depends on in which countries you need protection at present and possibly in a couple of years in the future. If you need trademark protection for example in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia, you may have to consider applying for an international registration under the Madrid Protocol. If your business is active in several EU countries, the EU trademark is probably the most practical and inexpensive solution.

    If you consider protecting your trademark abroad, then you should consult trademark agencies and agents.

    Which one is more expensive: the EU trademark or the international registration under the Madrid Protocol?

    This has to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The price of an international registration depends on in how many countries and in which countries protection is sought. The best way to calculate prices is to use the ‘Fee Calculator’ on WIPO’s website.

    For more information on the application and registration fees for EU trademarks, visit the EUIPO website.

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    Latest update 23.03.2016