Limits of the exclusive right

The exclusive right that a trademark owner holds is not unlimited. The exclusive right is limited by the mark’s period of validity, geographic area of protection, and the goods and services the mark is valid to cover.

Period of validity

A trademark enjoys protection starting from the application date, which is the day when the trademark application is filed with the Finnish Patent and Registration Office and the mark is presented clearly and precisely. This is when the mark becomes pending. Read more about the requirements for a trademark to become pending.

A trademark is valid for 10 years from the date of application. You can renew it for a period of 10 years at a time.

According to the Trademarks Act in force until 1 May 2015, the trademark’s period of validity began on the day of registration.

An established trademark has no clear period of validity, as the requirements that need to be met to establish a trademark neither begin nor end at a specific moment in time.

Read more about renewing a trademark.

Geographic area of protection

The exclusive right to a trademark is only valid within a specific area of protection.

Registering a trademark at the Finnish Patent and Registration Office provides protection within Finland.

The protection gained through establishment is limited by the area in which the establishment has taken place.

You can apply to register a trademark outside Finland primarily in the following three ways:

  1. by applying to register an EU trademark, which, if granted, provides protection in all of the EU,
  2. by applying to register a trademark under the Madrid protocol in its designated member states, or
  3. by applying to register a national trademark in the states of your choice.

Read more about how to apply for protection abroad.

Goods and services

A trademark provides the exclusive right to use the mark only in connection with the goods and services for which the mark is established.

In the same way, the right to prohibit others from using the same or a similar mark primarily concerns the marks that are used in connection with the same or similar type of goods and services.

The application must include a list of goods and services which the trademark is intended to protect. It is not possible to extend the list of goods and services after the application has become pending at the PRH. If you want to extend the list, you must file a new application.

Read more about classifying goods and services.

Printable version
Latest update 17.06.2021