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Amendments to Trademark Laws

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Okt 30, 2018 (Newsletter Issue 18/18)
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Draft Trademarks Act Bill

The Finnish Trademarks Act has been revised and a Government bill was submitted on October 18, 2018. It is intended that the new Trademark Act is to enter into force on January 1, 2019.

The Government bill proposes to implement the revised EU Trademark Directive, to enforce the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks and to bring the present trademark regulation up to date. In addition, the Government bill includes amendments to related legislation such as the Finnish Company Names Act, the Criminal Code and relevant procedural acts. The new Trademarks Act will also result in the annulment of the current Finnish Act on Collective Marks since the provisions concerning collective marks and control marks will be included in the new Act.

Some of the key amendments are the following:
- administrative procedure for the revocation and declaration of invalidity in addition to the current civil proceedings
- administrative procedures to deal with partial or total revocation of company names and auxiliary trade names in addition to the current court proceedings; however, such alternative administrative procedures would be limited to cases of non-use.
- invocation of the five-year partial or total non-use of a claimant’s trademark or trade name as a defence in opposition, revocation, or invalidation proceedings.
- waiver of the graphical representation requirement
- new classification rules
- the introduction of an exclusive right of a Finnish trademark owner in situations where counterfeit goods are caught in transit
- introduction of a clear provision criminalising infringement of EU trademarks (typically counterfeits)

Further, under the Government bill, owners of registrations filed before October 1, 2012, using the Nice class headings (or only class number if filed before 1996) shall specify their list of goods and services to ensure that they follow the new classification provisions by the renewal of the respective trademark registrations.

For further information, please check the article of the law firm Borenius Attorneys Ltd here