„As a utility model, inventions are protected that are new, based on an inventive step and are commercially applicable.“ (§ 1 (1) Utility Model Act)
The prerequisites for an invention becoming a utility model generally correspond to those for a patent. However, processes cannot be subject of a utility model. A description or use by the applicant within six months before the filing date is not detrimental to novelty.
Inventions for which protection as utility model protection is desired are to be registered with the patent office. Unlike the patent, the utility model is registered without an examination.
The effects of the utility model correspond to those of the patent. However, due to the lack of examination, the legal validity of a utility model may be in question.
The utility model protection lasts a maximum of 10 years. Extension fees are payable at regular intervals for maintenance.