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The Differences Between Patent and Utility Model

Intellectual property rights play an important role in the protection and promotion of inventions and creative works. Among these rights, utility model and patent, which are often confused, are also included. Both provide certain rights to inventors, but there are some significant differences between them.

So, what are the differences between patent and utility model?

While both types of registration require novelty and applicability to industry, the most notable difference between the two is the requirement of an inventive step for patent registration, which is not required for utility model registration.

In general comparison;


Definition: A patent is a protection given to technical solutions that are new, applicable to industry, and involve an inventive step.

Protection Period: 20 years.

Application Process: Longer and more complex. Consists of two stages: Search  and examination.

Cost: Higher compared to utility model.

Inventions to be Protected: Broader. Covers both products and methods.

Sectoral Limitation: None.

Utility Model:

Definition: Unlike a patent, a utility model is a protection given to technical solutions that are new and applicable to industry without the requirement of an inventive step.

Protection Period: 10 years.

Application Process: Shorter and simpler. Only has a search stage.

Cost: Lower compared to a patent.

Inventions to be Protected: Narrower. Only covers product but not methods. 

Sectoral Limitation: Utility model applications cannot be made for pharmaceutical substances, biotechnological inventions, and chemical & biological materials.

The type of rights you should apply for depends on the nature of your invention and your protection needs. If your invention is new, applicable to industry, and involves an inventive step, the chance of getting a patent would be high. If your invention is new and applicable to industry but does not involve an inventive step, you can apply for a utility model. A utility model allows you to obtain protection more quickly and at a lower cost than a patent.

Patent and utility model rights are limited to national borders. To obtain protection in different countries, you will need to apply via national, international or regional routes for those countries as well.

It is important to consult a patent attorney before applying for either type of right.

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