The websites for intellectual property offices of numerous countries provide a range of free patent, design, and utility model search options which will be of use to prior art searchers during exhaustive patent searches. Although most professional patent searchers will have access to subscription databases that cover dozens of authorities, it can give a searcher an extra edge if they are familiar with the free tools available on the websites of smaller intellectual property offices. That’s why today, I’ll give a quick overview of the intellectual property search tools available on the Finnish Patent and Registration Office (PRH) website. In particular, I’ll focus on the free PatInfo database, which allows users to access patent file history documents related to Finnish patent applications.
Continue reading to learn about the bilingual patent, trademark, design, and utility model search tools available through the PRH website!
According to the PRH website, PatInfo “contains basic data, procedural status, validity and payment information on”:
- Finnish patent applications filed since 1970 (kind codes FI A0, A, B and C)
- Finnish utility model applications filed since 1992 (kind codes FI U0 and U)
Users should note that “no data is available concerning unpublished patent applications filed in 1970-1978.”
The main search form for PatInfo is available in both English and Finnish (English translations are provided after Finnish phrases). The fielded search forms allows users to search the database by:
- Application number
- Patent number/registration number
- Title (in Finnish or Swedish)
- PCT number
- Priority number
- Application date
- Filing date
- Publication date
- Date of grant/registration date
- IPC class
- Owner name
- Inventor name
- Agent name
The search help guide is available in English. According to the help guide, the symbol * can be used as a wildcard in some fields.
25 results are displayed per page, and each result in the list includes a print option, application number, patent number, IPC classes, title, applicants/owners, status, and a link to any documents. Select the document title to view bibliographic data on the record, and from the full record you can also access an event history list for the document and fees due within 6 months.
The list of available documents (accessible by clicking the PDF icon in the results list for each record) appears to include links to PDF versions of all available documents from the file history.
Other Resources on the PRH Website
The PRH hosts a main website available in Finnish or English that offers the following search services (besides PatInfo):
- Trademark Database – Basic information on pending trademark applications and valid registrations in Finland and on international registrations under the Madrid Protocol (WIPO) designating Finland.
- List of Trademarks with a Reputation – The List of Trademarks with a Reputation contains trademarks applied for and admitted to the list. Trademarks with a reputation in Finland under Section 6(2) of the Finnish Trademarks Act are entered in the list on application.
- DesignsNet – The service provides access to basic data and images of Finnish pending design applications, valid design registrations and designs deleted from the register.
- Publication Server – Search by publication number, application number, IPC class, publication date (from 2005 to present), or kind code. Also browse through documents by date.
- FI-EP Register – The FI-EP Register contains the basic data of European patents that are in force in Finland. Lapsed patents are deleted form the database.
- Utility Model Net – Search for basic data of a specific utility model. The search covers valid utility model registrations and utility models deleted from the register. From February 16, 2009, you can find registered utility models in the Publication Server (from registration number 8169 onwards).
The PRH website is well organized and particularly useful for English-speaking prior art searchers, who can browse through Finnish patents in an English-language interface. This type of bilingual IP office website is not unique to the PRH, though. Many IP office websites (such as the Swedish Patent and Registration Office) offer English-language search tools.
Do you know of an IP office website that has a unique patent, trademark, or copyright search tool? Let us know in the comments which intellectual property office website you’d like us to profile next!
This post was contributed by Joelle Mornini. The Intellogist blog is provided for free by Intellogist’s parent company Landon IP, a major provider of patent searches, trademark searches, technical translations, and information retrieval services.