Propatent - Patents and Utility models

Propatent - Patents and Utility models

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Patents and Utility models

Patents

Patents are granted for new inventions which are the result of the development process and which are utilizable in industry. Patents are useful for more significant inventions.

Utility Models

Utility models protect new technological solutions which transcend the scope of mere technical skill and which are utilizable in industry. A utility model is often called a small patent and is used for minor inventions. The Industrial Property Office does not examine the invention in terms of newness and level of creativity, which makes the process of registration considerably faster. It is, therefore, useful for products that are already prepared to be marketed. The process of granting a utility model is usually completed in three to four months from the day the application is filed.

Validity period

A patent is valid for 20 years from the day the patent application is submitted and its validity has to be renewed every year based on payment of a fee. The validity of a utility model is four years and can be continuously extended for up to 10 years.

Necessary documents

Registration process

A patent is registered by means of a patent application form which includes descriptions and drawings of the invention. A patent is registered by means of a patent application form which includes descriptions and drawings of the invention. The Industrial Property Office performs an analysis of the application in order to ascertain that it does not contain any solutions that are not eligible for patenting or any defects that would prevent its publication. The application is published after 18 months and this is announced in the Official Journal of the IPO. At the request of the applicant, the IPO then performs thorough research to determine whether any identical or analogous invention already exists. After an affirmative decision is made, the owner of the invention is granted a patent. The patent then has to be maintained by means of payment of annual fees. The registration process takes three to five years.

A utility model is registered by means of an application form that includes a description and drawings of the invention. The IPO examines the application’s eligibility for registration, i.e. it ascertains that it does not contain any object which is not a technical solution in terms of law, that it is not outside the scope of utility-model protection, that it meets the requirements for industrial utility and that it does not contain any defects that would prevent its registration. The IPO does not examine the factual eligibility for protection, i.e. it does not investigate whether a similar invention has been registered. After the utility model is entered into the register, the registration is published by the IPO. The process takes three to four months from the day the application is filed.

Protection abroad

National registration

The invention is registered directly in the country in which the owner wants to have it protected by the local patent office.

"European Patent"

The invention is registered at the European Patent Office (at present it covers 29 countries).

International registration through the Patent Cooperation Treaty

At present it is possible to register an invention in 120 countries using a single application form.

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