08 Jun Trademarks in Finland and the European Union
Even if Finland is a relatively safe country in terms of intellectual property rights and outright exploitation of a foreign brand is rare, foreign businesses that commence business operations in Finland should protect their brands in Finland with trademarks. There are basically three different ways for obtaining a trademark covering Finland. One can either apply for a national trademark, for the European Union trademark, or the community trademark as it was known before, or file an international trademark application.
The national trademark covers only Finland. It is issued for a term of 10 years starting from the date of the trademark application. The national trade mark is generally the best option when a foreign business is expanding only to Finland. The term of registration may be renewed for a new ten-year term an unlimited number of times. The applicant may be a Finnish or foreign individual or legal entity. However, if the applicant is not domiciled in Finland, the applicant must appoint a representative residing within the European Economic Area. The registration fee is currently 250 € or 230 €, if filed electronically, including one class of goods or services, while the registration fee for each additional class is 80 €.
European Union trademark
The EU trademark covers all of the EU member states without any separate national registrations. It is not possible to designate the EU trademark for a certain member state. The EU trademark is valid for a ten-year term and may be renewed indefinitely for the same term. The applicant may be a resident of a EU member state or a state being a member of the Paris Convention for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights or the WTO. However, in case the applicant is not domiciled or does not have its principal place of business within the European Union, the applicant is required to appoint a professional representative domiciled within the European Union. If filed electronically, the registration fee is 850 € for one class of goods or services, while the second class of goods or services costs 50 € and every class thereafter an additional 150 € per class. The European Union trademark is usually the best option when a foreign business intends to commence operations in several EU member states.
Foreign businesses domiciled in a country that is a member of the Madrid Union may apply for an international trademark covering Finland. The Madrid Union consists of the contracting parties to the Madrid Agreement on the International Registration of Marks and the Madrid Protocol related thereto. A prerequisite for the international registration is that the business has obtained a national mark for the trademark in its country of domicile. The trademark issued under an international registration is valid for 10 years. However, the term and changes to the basic national registration affects the international registration. The international application is filed with WIPO, which is located in Geneva, Switzerland, through the patent office of the place of domicile of the applicant.The individual registration fee for Finland is 225 Swiss francs (CHF). An international application is usually the best option when the trademark has been registered in the applicants home country or place of domicile.
MK-Law assists and advices with the registration of trademarks and renewals and may act as representative when needed. We also assist with the preparation of license and franchising agreements.