Finland has acceded to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement concerning the international deposit of industrial designs. This arrangement and the related amendments to the Finnish Registered Designs Act will take effect on 1 May 2011.
The international registration system aims at facilitating international protection of designs. The system allows a design application to be filed with the World Intellectual Property Orgnization (WIPO), designating the countries in which design protection is applied for. WIPO then checks the application for formalities. Each designated country, in turn, examines the application for other than the formal aspects, as prescribed by its national legislation, and either approves of the international registration or informs the WIPO that the registration is rejected.
The international registration system has been available to Finnish applicants since 1 January 2008 when EU acceded to the Geneva Act. Finland’s accession to the system makes it now possible also Finland to be designated in an international design application. At the moment, 40 states or contracting parties (excluding, however, e.g. USA, China and Japan) have acceded to the Geneva Act.
The Registered Designs Act has been amended to reflect the international registration system. In addition, amendments not associated with the accession to the Geneva Act have been made. Examples of the amendments include the following: