Patents may be granted by national patent offices or by regional offices that work for a number of countries, such as the ARIPO, Australia, China, Denmark, Germany, Malaysia, Spain, Turkey. The patent owner has the right, for a period limited to the duration of the patent term (which is normally 20 years from the filing date) to protect his invention.
In a number of countries, inventions are protectable through registration under the name of ‘utility model’ which may also be called ‘short-term patent’, ‘petty patent’, ‘innovation patent’, ‘incremental innovation. The invention standard under utility model is lowered to an ‘innovative step’. For example, an innovation or a utility model can use products or inventions that have already been invented in a new and innovative way to solve a particular problem.
The following table provides the difference between patent and utility patent.
|The invention which has novel, inventive step and industrial application can be protected.||The invention which has mainly a novelty, but less or absent in inventive step can be protected.|
|All new invention or substantial improvement invention can be protected.||All marginal improvement invention can be protected.|
|The term of protection is 20 years from the date of filing.||The term of protection is between 7 and 10 years from the date of filing.|
|The cost to obtain and maintain the patent is expensive.||The cost to obtain and maintain the utility model is cheaper.|
|It requires substantive examination of the patent application to validate patentability.||It does not require substantive examination procedure, as it does not require the inventive step.|
|Longer time [2 to 5 years] is required to obtain a patent.||To obtain Utility model protection, it requires only less time in the range of 6 months to 1 year.|
|Patent protection is available in almost all major countries.||Utility model protection is available only in some countries based on the technology.|
|Patent protection is actively used||Utility model protection is less actively used.|
|Conversion of the patent into utility model is always possible.||Conversion of utility model into a patent is possible under certain circumstances.|
Therefore, the Indian companies and startup who wish to protect their innovation in above mentioned countries, they may seek to protect under utility model and to get patent grant quickly and economically. To know more about how to protect innovations under utility models, you may visit the link http://www.wipo.int/sme/en/ip_business/utility_models/utility_models.htm