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Utility Model

What is a utility model?

Utility models are rights that protect inventions. They have similar granting requirements to patents and confer exclusivity rights to their owner.

For a utility model to be granted, the invention must be novel, it should involve an inventive step, and it must have an industrial application. Unlike a patent, it’s enough for the invention to present a practical or technical advantage over pre-existing products or processes. In this case, it is not necessary to meet the most demanding requirement, which would oblige the invention to work in a way that would not be obvious to an expert in the field.

However, utility models differ from patents since they have a more affordable, simpler, and faster registration procedure, usually providing a shorter protection period than a patent.

Nonetheless, not all jurisdictions provide this intellectual property right, and grant requirements and protection period vary.

In what way is a utility model different from an industrial design and a copyright?

Unlike utility models, industrial designs protect an innovation’s aesthetic features, including its shape, ornamentations and colors, independently of its technical aspects.

As for copyrights, the same protect artistic, literary, or scientific works from the moment of creation, such as music, cinema, architecture and books.

Do I really need a utility model?

These types of protection are especially recommended for those who want a fast, simple, and affordable registration and inventions that only present technical or practical advantages in the manufacturing or use of products or processes.

Since it is possible to simultaneously file utility models and patent, the utility model registration may still be useful if you are not sure if your invention meets the requirements for a patent. You will be able to file the utility model and make sure you are not totally unprotected.

How long does the utility model protection last?

Compared to patents it has a shorter protection period and the same differs from country to country, but it can last up to 10 years with or without renewals.

Are utility models valid anywhere in the world?

This regime is only recognized and effective in some countries.

Can I make my inventions public?

You cannot make them public before the utility model application. Otherwise, the inventions are no longer novel and, thus, they will not meet one of the grant requirements.

Can I disclose the inventions to Inventa?

Yes. Our work is confidential and our clients’ information is never divulged. If you wish, we are able to enter into a nondisclosure agreement.

How do I register a utility model?

We are here to monitor the important steps in utility model registration: from the exhaustive search to make sure that no identical or similar innovations exist, to its drafting.

After that, our industrial property agents get the registration filing ready and, during the analysis period, we can provide additional information or respond to notifications from the Offices. We monitor the process right up to the granting and issuing of the registration certificate.

Is an examination mandatory?

Depending on the jurisdiction, a substantive examination may or may not be mandatory. However, it can be requested by either the applicant or by other interested parties, unlike with patents where the examination is always mandatory.

This examination will evaluate whether the grant requirements of the utility model are fulfilled. When requested, the examination makes the industrial property asset more valuable, as it confirms that it is novel and inventive.

How can you strengthen your utility model protection?

After the publication and granting of the utility model, we ensure a permanent monitoring of the market in order to understand the status of its protection and assess whether there exist any potential ongoing infringements. Moreover, we utilize all kinds of legal measures to combat counterfeiting or the non-authorized exploitation of your utility model.

It is important to add that our service is not confined to a reactive system in response to these risks. We anticipate any harmful and illegal action and outline proactive strategies that allow you to increase the profitability of your industrial property, ensuring its full protection on the market.

How can I keep my utility model valid?

Certain jurisdictions require the payment of renewal fees to keep your utility model in vigor. In some cases, this is an annual renewal, in other countries it is five-yearly.

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