Utility Models in General
Utility models are exclusive rights, in practice nearly equivalent to patents. The holder of a utility model right is entitled to control commercial exploitation of his/her invention. Commercial exploitation includes, among other things, manufacturing, sales and import of a product. A utility model right is valid for a fixed term and it is regionally limited. The purpose of utility model rights is to protect the technical idea of innovation, which typically includes the results of product development or other immaterial property, which does not fulfill the criteria for patentability. The inventor may exploit his/her invention financially, for example, by granting licenses.
The consent of the inventor that has applied for a utility model right must consent to publication of the invention within a certain period of time. In exchange, the inventor receives the protection offered to a utility model, provided the invention meets the statutory requirements therefor. This will benefit the society at large, as other inventors will be able to exploit previous inventions in their research.
Consulting engineers of the National Board of Patents and Registration will provide further information regarding about the application procedure for utility model rights. It is also possible to consult patent attorneys in registration issues.