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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Mai 22, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 10/18)
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New Finnish Trademarks Act Proposed

The Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment working group in 2016 for a total revision of the Trademarks Act. The working group submitted its draft Government Proposal for a new Trademarks Act to the ministry on March 19, 2018. The draft proposal is available on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (in Finnish). The new Trademarks Act will implement the revised Trademark Directive and enforce the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks. A large amount of substantive and procedural changes will be introduced.

The draft Government Proposal also introduces amendments to related laws, particularly to the Company Names Act. In addition, the new act would result in the annulment of the current Act on Collective Marks, while provisions concerning collective marks and control marks would be included in the new act.

Some of the proposals are the following:
- Introduction of an administrative procedure for the revocation and declaration of invalidity of a trademark parallel to the current court proceedings.
- Revocation of company names within corresponding administrative proceedings in addition to current court proceedings.
- Holders of trademark registrations applied for before October 1, 2012, for class headings will need to specify their list of goods and services to ensure that it follows the new classification provisions.
- Further notable changes are the waiver of the graphical representation requirement, the introduction of the exclusive right of a Finnish trademark owner in transit situations, and the introduction of a clear provision criminalizing infringement of EU trademarks (typically counterfeits).

The draft Government Proposal will be handed over to Parliament during the autumn session of 2018, and the new Trademarks Act is intended to enter into force by January 2019.

For further information, please check here