For the quality of a utility model as well, it is crucial to formulate, with due consideration of the prior art, a claim to protection with the largest possible and, for the client, strategically important scope of protection. Similar to patent applications, with utility model applications it is also important to at first determine the core of the innovation in close cooperation with the inventor.
The advantages of a utility model over a patent lie, among other things, in
- that a utility model protection can be acquired quickly and, as far as the standing official fees are concerned, at relatively low cost,
- that, for the utility model, a novelty period of grace of 6 months applies from the date of publication of the invention, and
- that prior use before the date of application filing abroad as well as any oral publications cannot be cited against the utility model with regard to novelty and inventive step.
However, utility models are registered protective rights for which the German Patent and Trademark Office does not examine the pertinent requisites for protection (novelty and inventive step). Therefore, we advise our clients with regard to acquiring a utility model protection that is effective against competitors. Under certain circumstances, it may be strategically viable to file both a patent application and a utility model for the invention, the more so because expenditure of preparing the application documents occurs only once.