Applying for a patent
- Public service
If you have an invention and wish to profit from it, you should protect it with a patent. A patent gives you an exclusive right to use your invention for up to 20 years.
A technical invention that is new and industrially applicable may be patented. Your invention should also be substantially different from the products and methods that were known before applying for the patent.
The processing times of patent applications vary, but on average they take around 2.5 years.
Do the following
- Before applying for a patent, find out whether your invention is new and inventive. You can use the Finnish Patent and Registration Office’s (PRH) free databases and, if you wish, order search services from our experts or other service providers, such as patent agencies.
- Prepare a patent application. Your application must include the application form, description, patent claims, abstract, and a drawing of the invention. You should reserve plenty of time for writing and prepare your application with care. For more information about applying, please visit our website. You can also use the services of a patent agency.
- Submit the patent application to PRH on the online service or by sending it by post.
- Wait patiently for the application to be processed and respond to any formal or technical office actions by PRH. A formal examination verifies that the application includes all the required documents, and that the application fee has been paid. After this, the application is examined technically, which declares whether the invention is new and patentable.
- After PRH has approved the patent application, you must pay the publication fee and PRH makes a patent publication of the application text. The patent has been granted once a public notice is given of it on Patent Gazette.
- Pay annual fees. Your patent remains valid if you pay the annual fees on time.
To whom and on what terms
Patents can only be granted to new, inventive, and industrially applicable inventions. You cannot obtain a patent on a mere idea. Instead, the actual realisation of an idea – device, product, or method – can be patented.
An individual, several persons, a company, or a community may apply for a patent.
Applying for and maintaining a patent are subject to fees.
A fee is charged for the service.
The fees are based on the Decree of the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment on the Chargeable Services of the Finnish Patent and Registration Office.