Invention Protected by a Utility Model
Utility model, the so-called “petty patent”, can be used to protect technical improvements that do not fulfil the requirements of patentability. A novel technical solution may, however, have great demand on the market, and it may therefore become a commercial success.
Similarly to patents, the proprietor of utility model protection has the right to deny others from using their invention. A “petty patent” can be obtained more easily and quickly than an actual patent, but it has a shorter term of protection.
A protectable invention may be a product, object or device, which solves some technical problem. Methods cannot be protected. The invention must be novel and different from what has been known before. However, the difference does not need to be major, and the inventiveness expected of patents is not required.