Utility Model Protection
The difference between utility model and patent
The most important links concerning utility model application
Utility models are unexamined IP rights. During the registration procedure, there is no examination as to novelty, inventive step und industrial application. For this reason, utility model protection can be obtained more easily, faster and at lower cost than patent protection.
However, there is a greater risk for a utility model to be challenged and cancelled. Within the framework of cancellation or infringement proceedings, examination as to the substantive requirements for effective utility model protection, such as novelty, inventive step and industrial application, is carried out subsequently.
Therefore, please make sure that these requirements are met by your application by conducting thorough searches. For help on searches in the DPMA databases, please go to the search section.
Another important difference between the two IP rights is the term of protection. A patent can be kept in force for up to 20 years, a utility model protection can last for up to ten years.
We have compiled general information about utility model and topography protection on our website. Detailed information is also available in our “Utility Models” brochure. For in-depth information, please see the “Information for Utility Model Applicants" leaflet, the Utility Model Ordinance (Gebrauchsmusterverordnung) or the Utility Model Act (Gebrauchsmustergesetz).
Last updated: 8 May 2020