Utility Models

Like the patent, the utility model is an industrial property right for technical inventions. However, during the registration novelty and inventive step are not checked but relevant prior art is searched for information of the applicant. As a consequence, the duration of the proceedings is significantly shorter than for a patent application. The term of an utility model is only ten years. The utility model is therefore sometimes referred to as „petty patent“.

In Austria and in some other countries the respective Utility model Acts provide for a grace period of six months. This means that an invention that is disclosed prematurely by the applicant (!) within this period may still be filed effectively as an utility model.

In contrast to patents utility models are known as separate property rights in a relatively small number of countries.