What is protected as a utility model?

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In the Republic of Estonia, inventions are protected by a utility model. A utility model can be considered an alternative to a patent. If protection is sought for the invention, in some cases it is better to prefer utility model to a patent. In order to decide which of the methods of protection is more appropriate to you, their similarities and differences should be known. A summary of the most important features of patents and utility models is in article Patent or utility model.

A utility model is an invention that is new, has an inventive step and is industrially applicable.

The utility model protects inventions, including equipment, processes and materials (except inventions in the field of biotechnology).

Some objects are not protected by a utility model. These include, for example:

  1. an industrial design;
  2. a layout design of integrated circuit;
  3. a discovery, scientific theory or mathematical method;
  4. a plan, rule, rule or method of economic and thinking activities;
  5. a design or scheme of an installation, building or area;
  6. a symbol;
  7. a computer algorithm or program;
  8. a simple provision of information;
  9. a human body or part thereof;
  10. a plant variety or an animal breed.

A utility model must meet three basic criteria. These include novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability.

Novelty – the invention is new if it differs from the state of the art. The state of the art will be determined on the basis of all technical information which, prior to the date of filing the utility model application, has been made public in any part of the world by written or oral description, through use or by any other means.

This means that if somewhere in the world an identical object has become public before an application for the registration of a utility model is made, then the invention is no longer new.

Inventive step – if the invention is new, then inventive step will be evaluated next. A utility model has an inventive step when, due to the difference in state of the art, a useful technical characteristic or other useful characteristic occurs when the invention is used.

Industrial applicability – industrial applicability is when an object can be produced or used in the economy.

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Last modified 29.04.2021