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utility model

Utility model is a legal form of technical solution protection, it is also called "small patent". However, in contrast to the patent, it is not possible to protect production methods or work activities by a utility design. Similarly, the requirement of inventive action is replaced by the requirement of overreaching a mere professional skill. It is therefore possible to award the utility model to objects, that by their invention do not reach the level of innovative action.

The utility model is awarded in a much shorter period than a patent (aprox. the proceedings before Industrial property office lasts 3 months). That is due to the fact, that in the utility design proceedings the conditions of a legal protection of invention are not scrutinized. These conditions are investigated during the proceedings on the deletion of the utility design, which can be filed by anybody.

The protection period of the utility models is shorter than with the patents, industrial designs or trademarks. The utility model is valid for four years, and it is possible to prolong it twice, for three years each time. The maximum protection period is 10 years after the submission of application.

The disadvantage is that the utility model is not (unlike other objects ofindustrial property) globalized, nor can it be protected at the European level, and many countries (e.g. Great Britain) have not matured to the introduction of this institute.

The utility model is though very effective since the protection is awarded shortly after the application. It is not uncommon for an application both for a patent and utility model to be filed for the same object. The owner of the utility model can trade the subject of protection, transfer the utility model or license its use.

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