Finland becomes a Party to the Geneva Act concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs
On 8 April 2011, the President has approved Finland’s becoming a party to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement. The Act enters into force in Finland on 1 May 2011. From that day on, the Finnish can use the international registration application process. Respectively, in the registration applications of the parties located in other member states, Finland may be designated as one of the countries where industrial design protection is searched.
An application may be filed in English, French or Spanish. The Geneva Act entered into force internationally in 2003, and it already has 41 Contracting Parties.
The applications are administered by the International Bureau of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) located in Geneva, Switzerland. Applications may be submitted either directly to the WIPO, or, should the applicant wish so, via the National Board of Patents and Registration.
In comparison with the traditional national application procedure, the most significant difference in the application process conforming with the Geneva Act is that a single application filed with WIPO may produce design right protection in any number of States parties to the agreement, designated by the applicant.
Other amendments to design right protection regulations
In connection with the Geneva Act's entry into force, other changes not related to accession to the Act will take effect. The most significant one is the change from the publication of the application to the publication of the registration. The eventual opposition procedures shall take place after the registration.
Moreover, the Registered Designs Act will be amended. The applicants will no longer be required to submit the assignment documentation. If the protection is applied for by a party other than the creator of the design, the applicant merely confirms the assignment of rights.
The requirements concerning the agent’s domicile and the use of agents will be amended to comply with the principle of freedom to provide services, and case law of the European Court of Justice.
For further information, please contact
Teija Miller, Government Secretary, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, tel. +358 40 734 7976
Tapio Priia, Deputy Director, National Board of Patents and Registration, tel. +358 9 6939 553