According to the Finnish trademark law, a trademark may consist of any sign capable of being represented graphically and capable of distinguishing the goods or services of one trader from those of other traders. Thus, a trademark may consist for example of a word, device, letter, numeral, shape of goods, slogan.
The examination made by the Finnish Patent Office will be as to form and novelty. Prior and confusingly similar trademark applications, registrations and Finnish firm names and surnames can be cited against a trademark application. Further, the Finnish Patent Office is quite strict when considering the distinctiveness of a trademark.
It is often advisable to conduct a trademark search before filing a trademark application.
For the present the treatment of a trademark application in Finland takes approximately 5 months. Within 5 months the application will be either accepted for registration and publication or the Finnish Patent Office will issue an Official Action stating the registration obstacles. The term for replying to official letters is 8 weeks, extensible once for 8 weeks. In case the Official Action concerns formal matters, the time limit for response may be shorter, however, at least four weeks. Regarding international registrations the time to respond is 12 weeks, extensible once for 12 weeks. Opposition period is two months from the date of publication of the registration.
For filing a trademark application in Finland the following information and documents are required:
- Full name, domicile and address of the applicant.
- International classes and in classes arranged goods to be covered by the registration.
- Power of Attorney form duly signed by the applicant (no legalization).
- 15 prints, max. size 8 x 8 cm only for device or designed word marks + 1 additional print for each additional class.
- Nowadays the priority document must be filed only in certain cases if the Patent Office requires it. If the priority document is not in German, English, Swedish, Danish or Norwegian, a certified translation into any these languages or Finnish is additionally required.
The list of goods may not be extended later. That means: no goods shall be added to the list of goods, and the names of goods shall not be changed so that new goods will be included in the list. The restriction of the list of goods is, on the other hand, always possible.