New Finnish trademark law clears up the national trademark system

Blogs March 20, 2019

Employment Law

The long-awaited trademark law reform is underway in Finland. The Parliament accepted the law and it is to take effect during this spring. The current trademark law from 1964 is outdated despite being partially revised since.

With the numerous reforms, the law became inconsistent in some respects. The objective of the proposed law has been to therefore crystalize and modernize the current law and to encourage the use of e-service for filing. At the same time the EU Trade Mark Directive will be implemented.

The new Finnish trademark law will bring many changes to the national trademark system. Here are the key changes to be expected:

- In principle, the renewals and registrations of trademarks can be only applied for electronically from the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH). In the future e-services will also be available in English.

- Conditions for commencement of proceedings will be stricter than earlier.

- Registration is still valid for 10 years, but the validity will begin from the date of application.

- In the future PRH will also handle matters concerning revocation and invalidity of trademarks alongside the Market Court.

- When the new law enters into force, there will be no need to graphically display the trademark and therefore the presentation will be much more flexible. It will be possible to present trademarks, for example, in 3D form. However, they must be demonstrated clearly, precisely and transparently.

- New black and white trademarks will no longer cover other potential color variations.

- The infringement of EU trade marks and design rights is also criminalized in the new law.