Utility Patent provides the inventor with the right to prevent others from using the protected invention commercially, without the grantee’s authorization for a limited period of time. Thus, the utility model is an exclusive right granted to an invention. It is important to note that even though ‘Patent’ and ‘Utility model’appear similar, there are differences between them:
- In order to obtain patent protection, they are required to qualify both novelty and non-obviousness requirements amongst other requirements. On the other hand, utility models are supposed to satisfy the novelty requirement but non-obviousness requirement for a utility model is low or absent.
- Utility model generally has a term of protection for 7 to 10 years depending on the Jurisdiction.
- It is cheaper to obtain and maintain utility models, as compared to Patents.
- There are jurisdictions where utility model protection can be obtained only for certain fields of technology, and not for processes.
Salient features of Utility Patent can be defined as follows:
- The span of protection usually varies from 7-10 years; whereas the patent’s term of protection is 20 years.
- In most of the jurisdictions, the applications for utility patents are not examined prior to registration, this is the reason the duration of registration of utility patents is less compared to patents since
- Utility patents confer exclusive protection rights for the product and not process.
- Novelty is a norm but the standards of novelty are different in a different jurisdiction for Utility patents.
- Utility patents are more appropriate for incremental invention.
- The standards of non-obviousness and inventive step are much lower and differ according to the jurisdictional area.
- Only a preliminary procedural examination is required, in most of the jurisdictions for the grant of utility patents. There is no substantive examination for utility patent grant.
- Utility Patents are cheaper to maintain and obtain.
- The rights conferred for the utility patents are similar to those granted by patent laws but have a shorter term.
Countries providing Utility Patent are Albania, Angola, Argentina, ARIPO, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belize, Brazil, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, OAPI, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Spain, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Uzbekistan.
Related Topic: Copyright Infringement – Remedies
When do you need to apply for Utility Patent?
It is advisable to apply for Utility Patents in the following conditions:
- If there is a requirement of faster registration
- For inventions with minor improvements
- For the inventions which are tangible in nature
- When the budget allocated is less and patenting cost is more
- For the inventions which are incremental in nature
- For invention with low inventiveness
Utility Patent in India
The protection under Utility Patents is not offered in India. Indian companies seeking utility patent protection are free to apply in the countries mentioned above. It is important to mention that numerous benefits of Utility Patent brings the requirement for its implementation in India. The Small and Medium Enterprise Businesses will be benefited, because hefty patent fees is involved in conducting tests and trials, and they generally lack funds. Further, as it is one of the most important type of patent, a lot of skill is required in drafting and prosecution of the patent application in the patent office.
Thus it can be said that is an effective safeguard for Small and Medium Enterprise Businesses, in order to protect their inventions. Further, it will boost their business in a way that their inventions will be protected and hence they won’t suffer losses in their business growth.