Inventions

Protecting an invention by means of a utility model involves an administrative procedure that is faster and simpler than the process of applying for a patent. However, this type of protection cannot be granted to inventions dealing with biological material or chemical and pharmaceutical substances or processes.

In relation to utility models, two types of application can be made - with or without an examination.

The major advantage of utility models is that applicants are only required to pay the filing fee. They can postpone, or maybe never even have to pay, the examination fee which is normally higher than the filling fee, due to its nature as a more costly and demanding intellectual task for the administration. This fee is only paid when/if it is deemed necessary (for example, when the owner would like to initiate legal proceedings).

The duration of a utility model is 6 years, starting from the filing or priority date, but this period can be extended. During the final six months of the validity period, the owner can request an extension for a period of two years, and during the final six months of this supplementary period, a second and final request for extension of the protection period can be made, again for a period of two years.

The duration of a utility model, together with its two extensions, cannot exceed 10 years, starting from the date the initial application was filed.

In order to keep the utility model in force, annuities fees have to be paid from the third year.