Finland-Selected Compulsory Licensing, Government Use, and Notable Patent Exception Provisions

Patents Act (1997)

Chapter 1
General Provisions

1. Anyone who has made an invention which is susceptible of industrial application, or his successor in title, shall be entitled, on application, to a patent and thereby to the exclusive right to exploit the invention commercially, in accordance with this Act.

The following, as such, shall not be regarded as inventions:

1. discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;

(2) aesthetic creations;

(3) schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers;

(4) presentations of information. (6.6.1980/407)

Likewise, methods for surgical or therapeutic treatment or diagnostic methods, practiced on humans or animals, shall not be regarded as inventions. This provision shall not, however, preclude the grant of patents for products, including substances and compositions, for use in any of these methods. (6.6.1980/407)

Patents shall not be granted for

(1) inventions the exploitation of which would be contrary to morality or public policy;

(2) plant or animal varieties or essentially biological processes for the production of plants or animals. However, patents may be granted for microbiological processes and products thereof. (6.6.1980/ 407)

45. Where three years have elapsed since the grant of the patent and four years have elapsed from the filing of the application, and if the invention is not worked or brought into use to a reasonable extent in Finland, any person who wishes to work the invention in Finland may obtain a compulsory license to do so unless legitimate grounds for failing to work the invention may be shown. (22.12.1995/1695)

Subject to reciprocity, the Government may decree that, for the purposes of the first paragraph of this section, the working of an invention in a foreign State shall be deemed equivalent to working in this country.

Chapter 6
Assignment, Licenses and Compulsory licenses

46. The proprietor of a patent for an invention whose exploitation is dependent on a patent held by another person may obtain a compulsory license to exploit the invention protected by such patent if deemed reasonable in view of the importance of the first-mentioned invention or for other special reasons.

The proprietor of a patent in respect of which a compulsory license is granted under the first paragraph of this Section may obtain a compulsory license to exploit the other invention unless there are special reasons to the contrary.

47. In the event of considerable public interest, a person who wishes to exploit commercially an invention for which another person holds a patent may obtain a compulsory license to do so.

48. Any person who was commercially exploiting in this country an invention which is the subject of a patent application, at the time the application documents were made available under Section 22, shall, if the application results in a patent, be entitled to a compulsory license for such exploitation, provided there are special reasons for this and also provided that he had no knowledge of the application and could not reasonably have obtained such knowledge. Such a right shall also be enjoyed, under corresponding conditions, by any person who has made substantial preparations for commercial exploitation of the invention in this country. Compulsory licenses may also relate to the period of time preceding the grant of the patent.

49. (22.12.1995/1695) A compulsory license may only be granted to a person deemed to be in a position to exploit the invention in an acceptable manner and in accordance with the terms of the license who, before filing a claim for a compulsory license, has made a verifiable effort to obtain, on reasonable commercial terms, a license to the patented invention. A compulsory license shall not prevent the proprietor of the patent from exploiting the invention himself or from granting licenses under the patent. A compulsory license may only be transferred to a third party together with the business in which it is exploited or was intended to be exploited.

50. Compulsory licenses shall be granted by a court of law, which shall also decide the extent to which the invention may be exploited and shall determine the remuneration to be paid and any other conditions under the license. In the event of a substantial change in the circumstances, the court may, on request, revoke the license or lay down new conditions.

Chapter 10
Special Provisions

75. If the country is at war or in danger of war, the Government may decree, where required by the public interest, that the right to a given invention shall be surrendered to the State or to another party designated by the Government. Reasonable compensation shall be paid for the right to the invention thus surrendered. If no agreement is reached on compensation with the party entitled to compensation, the court shall determine the compensation.

Where a party other than the State has availed itself of the right to an invention pursuant to the first paragraph and if such party does not fulfill its obligations with regard to compensation, the State shall pay the compensation without delay on request by the party entitled to compensation.