Utility model law
If you would like an invention to be protected quickly and inexpensively, the utility model is a perfect tool. Chemical substances, foods, and pharmaceuticals can also be registered as utility models. However, methods are excluded from utility model protection. If you would like to have a method protected, it can be done with a patent application.
When is the utility model preferable to the patent?
A utility model application is always preferable to a patent application if a) an applicant wants to obtain protection and thus a right to prohibit use very quickly or b) the inventor has already published the invention within the past 6 months. Official fees are a minor factor, and the cost of drafting does not change much either. Accordingly, a major advantage of a utility model is that it can be obtained faster than a patent. However, in the case of the utility model, the factual protection requirements, such as novelty and inventive step, are not checked for registration, so that there is uncertainty about the protection. The initially registered utility model can be examined in a later cancellation or infringement procedure with regard to these questions, which in the event of cancellation involves a cost risk for the owner of the utility model.
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