Industrial property rights
Intellectual property rights (IPRs) form an integral part of the regulatory framework for promoting innovation. IPRs have generally been divided into two main areas: industrial property rights and copyrights. Industrial property rights include patents, utility models, trade marks, trade names, and certain other rarer forms of protection such as the protection of integrated circuits and the plant variety rights. Protection against unfair business practices is also counted among industrial property rights.
Due to their global
importance, most IPRs are regulated internationally. There are many
international treaties as well Community legislation governing this sector.
The national legislation concerning industrial property rights is included in the following Finnish statutes:
- Patents Act 550/1967, Patents Decree 669/1980
- Utility Model Act 800/1991, Utility Model Decree 1419/1991
- Design Protection Act 221/1971, Design Protection Decree 252/1971
- Trademarks Act 7/1964, Trademarks Decree 296/1964
- Collective Marks Act 795/1980
- Act on Trade Names 128/1979
- Act on the Right in Employee Inventions 656/1967, Decree on the Right in Employee Inventions 527/1988
- Act on the Rights in Inventions made at Higher Education Institutions 369/2006
- Act on the Exclusive Right in the Layout-Design of an Integrated Circuit 32/1991, Decree on the Exclusive Right in the Layout-Design of an Integrated Circuit 946/1991
- Act on Plant Variety Rights 789/1992, Decree on Plant Variety Rights 907/1992
- Unfair Business Practices Act 1061/1978
Legislative matters pertaining to industrial property rights fall within the administrative branch of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and copyright matters within that of the Ministry of Education. Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Business Law Division of the Working Life and Markets Department deals with legislative issues regarding industrial property rights. The legislative responsibility for the Trade Name Act rests with the Ministry of Justice and that of the plant variety rights on the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
The website of the Finnish National Board of Patents and Registration contains detailed information on the various forms of protection as well as the application/ registration procedure. Informal English translations of most of the statutes can be found at the Finnish legislation database (Finlex).