Utility Models

Utility models may also be referred to as ’petty patents’ and protect those technical inventions which are new, but don’t quite reach the level of inventiveness required for patents. They provide similar protection to patents for lesser inventions or those likely to have a shorter life cycle. They are granted more quickly than patents, and have a duration of about 10 years from filing the application, although this varies from country to country.

A disadvantage of Utility Models is that they are only available in some countries and may not be available for certain types of invention. However, whilst Utility Models are not available in either the UK or the US, there are still a number of significant markets where they can be obtained, such as China, Japan, Germany and France. As such, for the right markets they may provide valuable protection in a form which can be obtained relatively quickly and at low cost.

We can help you consider whether and where this type of IP protection may be worthwhile for your particular products.