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Finland

Intellectual property

Updated 10/2012

Legal requirements

The following aspects of business activity may be protected: trading name (name used), invention (patent or utility model), goods outward form or decoration (design right) and different identifiers (trademark).

Under the Trademarks Act, the sole right to a trademark as a special identifier may be registered for goods that are to be offered for sale or otherwise traded as part of business activity, in order to distinguish them from other goods and services.

Design right protects goods or a part of its outward form. The object of patent protection is always a specific item or part of an item that is always visible by eye.

Intellectual property rights

Industrial property rights

Industrial property rights are a way of protecting a company's expertise and work results. The more business knowledge is based on know-how, the development of new products (goods or services) or well-known branded products, the more businesses will have unique expertise and intangible rights. These make up a company's intangible assets, which should be protected and reserved entirely for the company's own use.

Copyright

Copyright is used to protect and promote individual creative work in its different forms. By recognising the right of authors to define the use of their works, society encourages creative activity by also promoting the production and dissemination of intellectual products at the same time, as well as investment and trade in them. Safeguarding the production of cultural artefacts and the conditions for their availability forms the basis of national culture and social development.

In Finland, copyright issues are the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Objects subject to copyright are literary or artistic works. In order to be protected, a work should pass the threshold of originality or reach the level of a work. A protected work is the original result of its author's creative work.

Copyright comes into being when the work is created. Acquiring copyright does not require registration, notification or the fulfilment of any other formal requirements.

Copyright does not protect a topic, idea, method, principle, data content or plot.

Copyright generates financial and identity rights for the author.

Intellectual protection bodies

The National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland (PRH) promotes technical and economic development and intangible rights, both in Finland and internationally.

The PRH works globally and has extensive international contacts. Its partners include the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the EU Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs), OHIM, which operates in the internal market, and sister offices in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Estonia.

Property rights encourage investment in innovation and research.

Administrative procedures

Registration

The National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland registers each company, foundation and association in Finland, as well as inspects and issues patents, utility modes, trademarks and design protection.

The Finnish Business Information System (BIS) is an information processing system jointly maintained by the National Board of Patents and Registration and the Tax Administration which enables the required information to be submitted to both authorities with a single notification.

In Finland, copyright issues are the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Resources

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy's website has information about industrial property rights and innovation.

The National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland provides registered information about companies and foundations as well as patents, trademarks, utility models and protected designs.

VTT is the largest applied research organisation in Northern Europe. It provides diverse technology and research services to both Finnish and international customers, businesses and the public sector.

EnterpriseFinland network service offers information on starting up, going international and developing a business. Its Internet-based service includes the National Board of Patents and Registration's products and services, along with other public services related to intellectual property.

Programmes

Finnvera is a financing company owned by the state of Finland, which enhances the domestic operations of Finnish companies and promotes the exporting and internationalisation of companies. The financial services include loans, guarantees, and export guarantees. Finnvera on Suomen virallinen vientitakuulaitos. Finnvera is Finland's official export guarantee board.

The Foundation for Finnish Inventions supports and promotes Finnish invention and the development and exploitation of inventions. The Foundation's basic services are providing advice, evaluating inventions, protecting inventions, product development, financing for marketing and promoting the commercialisation of inventions.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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