Other obstacles to trademark registration

The mark includes a name or surname used in Finland

A surname is not, however, an obstacle to registration if it forms a part of the applicant’s name or if it is also used as a first name or a common noun for an object or a thing, for instance Heather/heather (in Finnish Kanerva/kanerva) or Smith/smith (in Finnish Seppä/seppä).

Otherwise you can overcome the surname obstacle by getting the consent of all holders of the surname.

You can search for surnames used in Finland on the website of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

The mark is contrary to law and order, or to accepted principles of morality

For example, it is not possible to register a mark that glorifies drugs.

The mark is misleading in terms of the qualities or geographical origin of the product or service

For example, if the applicant is Finnish, the trademark must not give the impression of France: “Parfum de Paris" as a mark for a Finnish applicant would be geographically misleading. You can overcome the obstacle by limiting the list of goods so that it only covers products from the country in question.

The mark includes an official emblem or symbol (a national flag or the armorial bearings of a Finnish municipality, for instance) or something liable to be confused with them

To register such a mark, you need the permission of the authority concerned. For instance, for the Finnish flag or the coat of arms of Finland, you need the permission of the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, and regarding armorial bearings of a Finnish municipality, the permission of the municipality in question.

WIPO keeps a list of international emblems, official signs and hallmarks indicating control and warranty, armorial bearings, flags, and other emblems and names protected under Article 6ter of the Paris Convention. Go to the 6ter database on the WIPO website.

The mark infringes the unique title of another's protected literary or artistic work, or it infringes another's copyright or right to a photo or protected design

You can overcome the registration obstacle by getting the consent of the copyright holder in writing.

The mark is liable to be confused with a mark used earlier by another party, and the applicant was aware of that use when filing the application, and had not used the mark before the other party

This refers to situations where the trademark applicant has known that a certain mark is used for identical or similar goods and services. The applicant’s trademark registration can be revoked based on an opposition or invalidated if it comes out, for example during opposition proceedings, that the application was filed in bad faith.

The mark is liable to be confused with the registered name of a plant variety

The mark cannot be registered if the mark is the same as or a clear imitation of the name of a plant variety protected in Finland or the EU, and the genus of the goods or services covered by the trademark application is the same as or closely related to the genus of the plant variety.

In Finland, plant variety publications are maintained by the Finnish Food Authority EVIRA. Go to EVIRA’s website to see the plant variety publications.

The mark is liable to be confused with a designation of origin or a geographical indication protected in Finland or the European Union

The mark cannot be registered if it is the same as or a clear imitation of a designation of origin, a geographical indication, a traditional term for wines or the name of a traditional speciality guaranteed that is protected in Finland or the European Union.

Read more about EU quality schemes for agricultural products. The website also has links to EU databases of all protected products.

More information about name protection is available on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland.


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Latest update 07.07.2021