Utility Models

– Law on Utility Models of May 10, 1991, in force since January 2, 1992, amended on September 1, 2013. A new amendment entered into force on January 1, 2017, due to a new Law on Court of Justice.

Membership in International Conventions

– Same as for “Patents of Invention“.


Applicant: the inventor or his assignee.

Definition: any invention which is susceptible to industrial application.

Foreigners and nationals not living in the country: have to appoint a patent attorney living in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Novelty: same as for “Patents“.

Exceptions to protection: inventions contrary to the law or public moral; discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods; aesthetic design creations; schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business and programs for computers; reproduction of information; plant or animal varieties; methods or processes.

Priority: can be claimed based on a patent or utility model application within twelve months from the filing date of the first application.

Electronic filing: available.

Publication: at registration, or at the latest fifteen months from the priority date.

Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to resident agent):
1. Power of attorney (no legalization);
2. A specification and possible drawings;
3. Assignment document from the inventor to the applicant (no legalization);
4. Priority document, if any.

PCT applications: in the case where national protection by means of a utility model is being sought, a time limit under PCT Article 22(1) and 39(1)(a) of 31 months from priority date applies since December 1, 2008.

European patent applications: a pending European patent application may since December 1, 2008 be transformed into an application for a utility model within ten years from the filing date of the European patent application.

Examination, Protection

Examination: only a formal examination. Before registration, the applicant may request an examination as to novelty and inventiveness. After registration, such examination may be requested by the proprietor or by a third party. The examination is carried out against payment of a fee.

Invalidation: any party can request the Patent Office to declare the registration completely or partially invalid.

Duration: altogether ten years.

Renewal: after the first four-year period, renewal is possible for another four-year period, and thereafter for a last two-year period.

Transforming a patent into utility model: a pending Finnish or European patent application may be transformed into a utility model application within ten years from the filing date of the patent application. The patent application remains pending though it is transformed into a utility model application unless the applicant withdraws the patent application separately. Prior user, compulsory license: as for “patents”.