For new inventions or improvements
Utility models are one of the options for protecting your inventions, ensuring the exclusive rights to the products or processes. By protecting the technical characteristics of these products of processes, utility models are an important step for the success of any business.
Utility models grant you the right to exploit inventions, giving you the monopoly on the use, marketing, or manufacturing of the products or processes, and preventing non-authorized third parties from using your utility model.
You can obtain gains through assigning or licensing your utility model, with or without consideration. If you wish to do so, our team can help you define and negotiate the best solution for you.
Utility models differ from patents, because the registration process is simpler, faster, and more affordable. However, not all jurisdictions recognize utility models. In addition, they have a shorter protection period. This varies according to the jurisdiction, but can last for up to 10 years.
The granting criteria differ according to the jurisdiction. Usually, utility models protect inventions that:
Were not disclosed or made publicly available before the date of the patent filing.
Or technical or practical advantage in the use or manufacturing of a product or process already known.
Everything that can be made or used in any industry, including agriculture.
If you own an innovation with the qualities listed above, it is possible to protect it with utility models. There are, however, other aspects to bear in mind: Do you want to market your innovation? Do you expect to profit from that marketing?
If the answers are affirmative, then you own an innovation to be protected by these means. However, for clear answers to you questions, contact our official intellectual property agents. These professionals can show you other means of protection appropriate in your case: patents and/or industrial designs.
What is a utility model?
Utility models are rights that protect inventions. They have similar granting requirements to patents and confer exclusivity right to their owner.
For them to be granted, the invention must be novel, it must involve an inventive step, and it must have an industrial application. Unlike a patent, it is sufficient 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 in that 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, these protect artistic, literary, or scientific works from the moment of creation, such as music, cinema, architecture and books.
Do you really need a utility model?
These forms of protection are especially recommended for those who want a fast, simple, and affordable registration and for those inventions that only present technical or practical advantages in the manufacturing or use of products or processes.
Since it is possible to file utility models and patents simultaneously, 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?
The protection period differs from country to country, but it can last as long as 10 years either with or without renewals. However, compared to patents, it is always a shorter period.
Are utility models valid anywhere in the world?
This regime is only recognized and effective in some countries.
Can you make your 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 you disclose the inventions to us?
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 a 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 you keep your 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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