Patent or Utility Model?
If you are asking yourself this question, you have come to the right place. First of all, both are good intellectual property rights, and both are clearly better than leaving a good idea unprotected.
Without a property right, ideas can be almost freely imitated.
A patent or utility model, on the other hand, grants the owner the exclusive right to commercially use, sell, or allow others to use his or her invention. This means that no one can make or sell the protected invention without the permission of the patent or utility model owner.
Three typical advantages of a utility model are
- It is granted more quickly than a patent.
- It can be filed with less effort from the developer.
- It is less expensive.
Three advantages of a patent:
- It has a longer term.
- It can provide broader protection, in particular for processes.
- It is easier to enforce.
What is the process for assisting you with a patent or utility model application?
- We will have an initial phone conversation to get to know each other and understand your needs.
- This is usually followed by another phone or video call. You can send us design sketches via a secure server.
- We conduct a search (flat fee).
- We prepare the application documents (description of your invention, formulation of the scope of protection; flat fee or hourly rate).
- Coordination of the draft application documents
- Filing with all formalities completed.
- In the case of a patent: report on the further course of the proceedings, in particular analysis of an initial official assessment of patentability.
More Utility Model Facts and Tips
- Do not underestimate it! The official wording of the German Federal Supreme Court is: The utility model is “not an inferior right”. The protective effects of a utility model are essentially the same as those of a patent.
- Utility models are also widely used in China. If necessary, we can supplement a utility model application in Germany with an application in China.
- Utility models are granted very quickly, it usually takes only a few weeks for a utility model to be granted.
- For a utility model application, you can also request a search at the German Patent and Trademark Office and thus obtain an official evaluation at low cost.
- German utility models are very popular with foreign applicants. The number of applications per year has recently increased by more than 10%.
More patent facts and tips
- Patents are not only granted for groundbreaking inventions. Otherwise, the German Patent and Trademark Office alone would not be able to grant about 2000 patents every month.
- The German Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office almost always complete the patent search in less than 12 months. Today, the patent search is usually supplemented by detailed comments, so that the chances of a patent being granted can be assessed at an early stage.
- A German patent is a good starting point for a European or international patent application, which can be filed within the first year after the filing date. This approach also spreads the costs.
Unsere Abbildung veranschaulicht die beiden Optionen: