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The ABC of utility models

A utility model is a registered exclusive right to exploit an invention commercially. Commercial exploitation includes manufacturing, selling, using and importing the product.

You can apply for a utility model for an invention that is:

  • new
  • clearly different from previously known inventions (prior art), and
  • industrially applicable.

We at the PRH will not examine the novelty or inventiveness of your invention before registering the utility model. That is why you should make sure that the invention is new before you file your application. Read more about how to determine the novelty of your invention.

Before registering the utility model, we will check that your application is formally correct. If we find any deficiencies, we will inform you about them by sending you an office action. Read more about the processing of your application at the PRH.

We will publish the registration of your utility model in the Utility Model Gazette and send you a registration certificate. Read more about the Utility Model Gazette.

The registration is valid for four years, and you can renew it twice. The maximum term of protection is 10 years. Read more about the validity of utility models.

Anyone can try to invalidate a utility model by lodging an invalidity claim against it. If we accept the invalidity claim, we will remove the utility model from the register. Read more about invalidation.

Printable version Latest update 30.03.2023