Utility Model Law

An utility model often is called “small patent”. Therefore the explanations according to the patent apply for the most part to the utility models as well. The latter differ from the patents primarily in that they are registered without any examination procedure. Thereby costs and the period of time until the registration are in some cases considerably reduced. As an unexamined intellectual property right an utility model requires extra care by exploitation or enforcement because the validity is uncertain.

An utility model has a validity period of only 10 years (instead of 20 years by patents) and is not to be used in procedures. In every single case it is to consider carefully whether an application of an utility model is advisable.

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