Patent protection does not necessarily have to be the only useful way to protect technical solution. The so called utility model protection may be more appropriate for the subject-matter of the lower level inventive step or less economically important, being simpler, faster and less costly.
Utility model protection can be used for new technical solutions susceptible of industrial application, exceeding common technical skill. As stated above the conditions for utility model protection are different from the patent procedure in case of the inventive level.
All production methods or work activities and biological reproduction materials are excluded from utility model protection.
Application requirements for utility model are analogical to those of patent application except the procedure is different. It is based on so called registration principle. The IPO CZ examines if basic conditions are fulfilled and then enters the utility model in the Register without any examination on novelty and creative level and whether it is eligible for protection. As opposed to patents the registration of utility model can be carried out quickly, usually three to four months after application filing.
A utility model application can - under certain circumstances - branch off the original patent application while maintaining its original priority. The protection under utility model lasts four years, but may be extended twice upon owner’s request for three years in each case. The owner can use protection under utility model for maximum of 10 years.
This protection is not suitable for cases in which the subject of protection is to be utilised at a later stage but it is ideal for items with shorter lifespan because the effect of registration of a utility model is the same as that of a patent. However due to the fact that there is no novelty and inventive level examination done, the protection under utility model is much more fragile and owner’s position less confident. The utility model fees on the other hand, are much lower.
Last modified on – 2012-05-21 13:06