Frequently asked questions

Can I reserve a trademark?
Can I use a trademark even if it has not been registered?
What should I check before filing a trademark application or before using a trademark?
Will the PRH refund the application fee if my application is rejected or dismissed?
How long will the processing of the trademark application take?
I received an office action concerning my trademark application. What does this mean and what do I have to do?
Is it possible to apply for an extension of the deadline?
How do I apply for a trademark?
How can companies and other legal persons identify themselves in our online services?
Does a Finnish trademark also provide protection abroad?
When do I need a representative?
Using the ® and ™ symbols
Which international form of protection should I use: the EU trademark or an international registration under the Madrid Protocol?
Which one is more expensive: the EU trademark or an international registration under the Madrid Protocol?
Which entries about a registered trademark are subject to a fee?
Can I modify a registered trademark?
Does the company name or auxiliary company name of another company prevent me from applying for a trademark registration for the same name?
What file formats can I send to the PRH?

Q: Can I reserve a trademark?

A trademark cannot be ‘reserved’. The only way to register a trademark is to file a trademark application. The applicant is entitled to priority from the application date onwards over any applications filed later. The requirements for an application to become pending are that the application has arrived to the PRH and the application fee has been paid. In other words, if you file an application and pay the application fee today, you will obtain a better priority to the mark than a competitor who files a similar application tomorrow.


Read more about applying for a trademark.



Q: Can I use a trademark even if it has not been registered?

In Finland, you do not have to register a trademark in order to be able to use it. You can therefore use a trademark even if it has not been registered. In that case, however, you must make sure that you do not infringe on the trademark rights or name rights of others when you use the trademark.


Read more about trademarks.



Q: What should I check before filing a trademark application or before using a trademark?

Before filing a trademark application, you should read our instructions at prh.fi. Go to the page Before applying. 


Furthermore, you should search free online databases to make sure that no identical or similar marks have already been registered in the Finnish Trademark Register or the Finnish Trade Register, or entered in the List of Trademarks with a Reputation. The following databases are available free of charge:


When you carry out searches, please remember that the search engines in most cases only search for identical marks. This means they do not always take into account identical pronunciation or other similarities between words. Therefore, you should search for a word like ‘ECO’ by writing it with C, K and G, and for a compound by writing it in one or several words etc. We recommend that you read the search instructions for the databases.



Q: Will the PRH refund the application fee if my application is rejected or dismissed?

We will not refund the application fee if your application is rejected or dismissed.

To avoid unnecessary application fees, we recommend that you study the conditions of and requirements for registration beforehand.


Read more about the requirements for registration. 



Q: How long will the processing of the trademark application take?


The processing time of a trademark application varies depending on the application. Typically, the processing times have been between one month and two months.


Check the current average processing time.



Q: I received an office action concerning my trademark application. What does this mean and what do I have to do?

An office action means that we have found a formal deficiency or a registration obstacle in your trademark application.


Examples of formal deficiencies are missing identification information, an erroneous payment or an error in the list of goods and services. You should response to the formal office action within the time limit given in our online filing service and provide additional information or correct the deficiencies.


The most common registration obstacles are previous trademarks and company names or the lack of a distinctive character of the applied mark. You should response to the office action within the time limit given in our online filing service and provide additional information or correct the deficiencies.

Our website provides instructions for most of the remarks in office actions. Read our instructions concerning office actions and responding to them.



Q: Is it possible to apply for an extension of the deadline?


The response time for office actions can be extended. The first extension can be granted without explanations, but the following extensions require explanations. In addition, we can grant an extension to office actions with a deadline between 1 June and 31 August without any explanations. The extension is subject to a fee.


It is not possible to extend all time limits. For example, opposition period, appeal period or time limit to request that we continue to process an application that has been dismissed cannot be extended.


Use our online service to apply for an extension. 



Q: How do I apply for a trademark?


File your application using our online service. The service requires user identification through the Suomi.fi portal. Once you have completed the application, the service will direct you to pay the application fee by credit card or online bank transfer. To make the payment, you must have either a mobile certificate or the user ID and password or codes required by your online banking service. You are allowed to file your application on paper or by email only for a special reason.


Read more about applying for a trademark registration.


Please note that we will not refund the application fee if your application is rejected or dismissed.



Q: How can companies and other legal persons identify themselves in our online services?


Companies and other legal persons identify themselves in the online trademark services using an employee’s personal online banking codes, a mobile certificate, or a certificate card.


The online trademark services of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) use Suomi.fi e-Identification, which is designed for Finnish public administration online services. Responsibility for the identification service rests with the Finnish Population Register Centre.


The identification is done by means of strong identification, which means it is important for the service provider to know who is using the service. It is not enough to only identify the company or organisation using the service.


Companies and other legal persons have three different options for identifying themselves in our trademark services:


  1. Using an employee’s personal banking codes. When you use your personal banking codes for the identification, only those personal details necessary for the online processing will be forwarded to the services.
  2. Using a mobile certificate. Mobile identification is a service provided by Finnish mobile operators for a fee.
  3. Using a certificate card. The trademark services accept e.g. identity cards issued by the police. To use a certificate card, you will also need a card-reading device and software.


User identification is required to use public administration services to ensure data security. Identification is a way to avoid abuse and denial-of-service attacks.


Read more about e-Identification at Suomi.fi.



Q: Does a Finnish trademark also provide protection abroad?

A trademark granted in Finland gives protection only in Finland. If you also wish to have protection abroad, you have to apply for it separately. There are three options:


  • national trademarks; an international trademark (registration under the Madrid Protocol); and the EU trademark.
Read more about international systems.


Q: When do I need a representative?


An applicant with a domicile or registered office in the European Economic Area (EEA) can apply for a trademark in Finland without a representative. In contrast, a trademark applicant or owner who has no domicile or registered office in the EEA must appoint a representative residing in the EEA. The representative can be a legal person or a private person.


If you want to protect your trademark abroad, you should consider consulting trademark agencies and agents.


Representatives can also be found in the Register of Attorneys maintained by the Finnish Industrial Property Attorney Board.



Q: Using the ® and ™ symbols


The Finnish Trademarks Act does not lay down provisions on the use of the ® and ™ symbols. In case law, however, it is considered that the ® symbol should only be used with registered trademarks. In other words, if your trademark has not been registered in Finland or in the EU, there is no reason to use the ® symbol. Instead, you can use the ™ symbol even if the trademark has not been registered, for example as a symbol for an established trademark or when a trademark application is pending.


More information on the trademark legislation is available on our website.



Q: Which international form of protection should I use: the EU trademark or an international registration under the Madrid Protocol?


This is a question only you as the applicant can answer. In which countries do you need to protect your trademark at present and possibly in a couple of years in the future? If you need trademark protection for example in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia, you could consider applying for an international registration under the Madrid Protocol. If your company is active in several EU countries, the EU trademark is probably the most practical and inexpensive solution.


If you consider protecting your trademark abroad, we recommend you consult trademark agencies and agents.


Representatives can also be found in the Register of Attorneys maintained by the Finnish Industrial Property Attorney Board.



Q: Which one is more expensive: the EU trademark or an international registration under the Madrid Protocol?


This has to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
The price of an international registration depends on in how many and which countries you apply for protection. The best way to calculate the prices is to use the ‘Fee Calculator’ on the WIPO website.  



Q: Which entries about a registered trademark are subject to a fee?


For detailed information about our fees, go to the page Application and registration fees. Below you can read how the fees are determined in certain cases.

Partial renewal, renewal and limitation:
If you leave out entire classes of goods or services when renewing your registration, you do not have to pay a separate fee for the changes.

In contrast, if you make limitations within a class of goods or services when renewing the registration (for example, if you only leave out some indications of goods in a class), we will charge a separate fee for the limitation.

Change of owner’s or representative’s name, domicile or registered office:
Entries about changes to the owner’s or representative’s name, domicile or registered office are free of charge.

Change of representative:
Change of representative is free of charge.

Several transfers and name changes in succession:
If the trademark has been transferred several times in a row and you want to have several of the successive owners recorded in the register details about the mark, we will charge a separate fee for recording each of the transfers.

If you only want to have the last owner recorded in the register, we will charge no more than one fee.

Transferring a trademark is subject to a fee also in the application phase.

Removals:
Entries about various rights (i.e. entries about licence, pledge, representative, and trademark registration) can be removed from the register free of charge.

Change of language:
Changing the language of a trademark means changing the language of the list goods and services for the mark from Finnish to Swedish or vice versa. Change of language is always subject to a fee, also when you apply to limit the list of goods and services, for example.


Q: Can I modify a registered trademark?


In general, you cannot modify the trademark itself (word, logo, slogan, etc.) after you have filed your application with the PRH.


However, if you wish to try to modify a pending or registered trademark, you have to file a new application for that with the PRH. Modifying a registered trademark is subject to a fee.

Check the amount of the modification fee in our price list.


Please note that you cannot change your trademark in any substantial way either while the application is pending or when the mark has been registered. You may only be allowed to make very small modifications which do not alter the general impression of the mark. Usually you must file a new application if the trademark has been altered. We assess all changes to trademarks separately. Roughly speaking, you cannot add or change any words but you may be allowed to make slight modifications to the font or colours.


Read our more detailed instructions on how to modify registered information.



Q: Does the company name or auxiliary company name of another company prevent me from applying for a trademark registration for the same name?

A company name or auxiliary company name may constitute an obstacle to the registration of your trademark if the name or a dominant part in it is almost identical to the trademark. There is a risk of confusion if the company name/auxiliary company name also covers goods or services that are identical or similar to those covered by the trademark.


In other words, even if the name is similar to the trademark you are planning to register, there is no risk of confusion if the line of business covers different goods and services than your trademark.


Read our more detailed instructions on how to assess risk of confusion.



Q: What file formats can I send to the PRH?


We recommend that you use the following file formats:


  • Documents: PDF (preferably (PDF/A)
  • Images: JPEG Video files: WMV, AVI, MP4 Multimedia files: MP4
  • Audio files: MP3, WAV


If you use some other file format, you are responsible for making sure that the original files can be converted into a format we can open.


The maximum file size is 15 MB.


See our contact details in trademark matters.