Utility Models

The definition of “Utility model” is much the same as a patent, many ways it is very same as a patent protection. Utility model is often referred to as "Petty Patents," “Short-term Patents,” “Fast IP rights,” or "Innovation patents." A utility model is an exclusive right granted for an invention to an inventor or applicant, which allows the right holder to prevent others from commercially exploiting the protected invention without his/ her authorization, for a limited period of time. Let’s note that Utility model protection is not available in all countries of the globe that provide protection to a patent. In its basic definition, which may vary from one country to another (where a “Utility model” protection is available).

Differences between a Utility model and a Patent

#Utility modelPatent
1Less stringent requirements for protectionStringent requirements for protection
2Inventive step / Non-obviousness is not strongly examinedStrongly examined
3Improvements that may not meet a patentability criteriaPatentability criteria is judged
45 and 10 years protection (varies from country to country) from the filing date20 years from Priority date/ Filing date
5Smaller time for final disposal (~ 6 months)Longer (~ 3 years)
6Cheaper to obtain and to maintainCostlier
7Only for products, not for processesBoth Product and process
8Certain technologies (Country specific), primarily mechanicalAll technologies
9Generally suitable for small and medium entities that make minor improvements to existing productsSuitable to anyone, any company

List of Countries and Unions, where Utility models can be protected

  • Albania
  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Brazil

  • Bolivia
  • Bulgaria
  • Chile
  • China (+ Hong Kong, Macau)
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia

  • EL Salvador
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy

  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • OAPI
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal

  • Republic of Korea
  • Republic of Moldova
  • Russian Federation
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan