What is Utility Model protection and does India offer utility model protection?

Utility Model

Like patents, utility model is an exclusive right granted to an invention. This allows the grantee, the right to prevent others from commercially using the protected invention, without the grantee’s authorization, for a limited period of time. It is very similar to patents and are often referred to as, “petty patents” or “innovation patents”.
Though on the outset, both patents and utility model appear similar, there are many differences between the two, which are given below:
  •  As compared to patents, the requirements of obtaining a utility model differ. To obtain patent protection, patents are required to satisfy both novelty and non-obviousness requirements of patentability among other requirements. Utility models are supposed to satisfy the novelty requirement and the non-obviousness requirement for utility model is low or absent.
  • The term of protection for utility model is usually between 7 to 10 years, based on the jurisdiction.
  •  In most jurisdictions offering utility model protection, the applications are not examined prior to registration. This significantly reduces the duration required for registration.
  • As compared to patents, utility models are cheaper to obtain and maintain.
  • In some jurisdictions, utility model protection can only be obtained for certain fields of technology and only for products but not for processes.
Who should apply for utility model protection

 Primarily, utility model protection may be sought under the following circumstances:  

  • For inventions that do not reach the same level of inventiveness, which is required for patent protection.
  •  For inventions that require faster registration.
  • For innovations which are of incremental nature and do not meet all the requirements of patentability.
  • When the life cycle of the invention is short and/or if, the profits are not able to cover patenting costs.
  •  For minor improvements and adaptations of existing products.
  • The innovation is tangible and/or mechanical in nature.
Countries offering utility model protection 
Many may identify themselves under the above mentioned criteria and feel that, their innovation warrants a utility model protection and not patents. But all countries do not offer utility model protection.
Below is a list of countries, which offer utility model protection.

Source: Wikipedia link
Utility model protection in India 
Though utility model protection would be of great help to many, India, at present does not offer protection under utility model. At present, technological innovations can only be protected in India under patents.
I hope you found this article helpful. Please feel free check our patent services page to find out if we cater to your patent requirements.
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Best regards,
Team InvnTree   
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