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What kind of inventions can get utility models?

We grant utility models for industrially applicable technical solutions. The invention can be a product or a device. Methods or uses cannot be protected with utility models.

The invention must be new. It must not have become known anywhere in the world before you file the utility model application.

The invention must be inventive, which means it must be clearly different from all previously known inventions. There is a clear difference if the invention is not totally obvious to those skilled in the art.

A utility model is an appropriate form of protection if:

  • you need protection quickly,
  • a 10-year protection period is enough, and
  • you have done a thorough search on previously known inventions and you are convinced that your invention is new and inventive.

Utility model or patent?

The maximum term of protection is 10 years for a utility model and 20 years for a patent.

Utility models are registered faster than patents. The average processing time for a utility model application is three months, whereas it is approximately 2.5 years for a patent application.

The fees charged for utility models are lower than patent fees. Read more about the fees for utility model applications.

We at the PRH do not examine the novelty and inventiveness of utility models. In contrast, we always carry out a novelty search for patent applications and assess the patentability of the invention. If you want us to look for publications that are most similar to the invention you present in your utility model application, you can ask us to conduct a separate utility model search for a fee. Read more about the utility model search.

The inventive step required of utility models is different from patents. What is required of utility models is merely a “clear” difference to the known technique, whereas an “essential” difference is required of patents.

In Finland, it is possible to apply for and get both a patent and a utility model for a single invention. A pending patent application can also be converted to a utility model application for the same invention

Read more in our Utility Model Guide in Finnish. (pdf, 1.3 MB)
Read the guide in Swedish. (pdf, 1.3 MB)

Printable version Latest update 30.03.2023