PATENTS AND UTILITY MODELS
An invention can be protected by means of a Patent or by means of a Utility Model in order to prevent it from being copied.
The Patent and the Utility Model are titles granted by a country, this latter through them recognising the holder his or her right to prevent others from exploiting the invention in its territory during a given period of time, in exchange for the disclosure of the invention.
This exclusivity right is only granted in the territories where the Patent or the Utility Model has been granted and where it is in force through the payment of the upholding fees.
A Patent protects inventions consisting in processes, products or improvements to them and its duration is of up to 20 years as from the filing date of the priority application (the first application filed with any Patent Office).
The Utility Model is to be used for inventions of lesser technical complexity, such as modifications or combinations of known products from which some new utility or advantage can be derived. Its duration is however of up to 10 years, but the protection level given to the invention is the same as that given to a patent.
As from April the 10th, 2017 with the coming into force of the new Patent Law it won’t be possible to protect by means of a Utility Model only those inventions referring to processes and those relating to biological matter and pharmaceutical substances and compositions.
The initial application for protection and its extension to another territory can be conducted by three ways:
– National processing: The application is filed individually with the Patent Office of each country.
– Regional processing: The application is filed with a regional Patent Office (such as for example the European one), this allowing to jointly carry out the formalities for the application of the national patents through one only application.
– International PCT application: This system allows to apply for the protection of an invention in each of the 148 States having signed the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) by means of one only application.
In Aguilar & Revenga we have a technical-juridical team of engineers and lawyers specialized in Patents and Utility Models who can advise you on the protection strategy being best suited for your invention and help you only in whatever you require:
- Reviewing of a technical specification
- Drafting of a technical specification
- Searching for previous publications related to your invention and which could affect its patentability
- Processing of a national, regional or international application
- Follow up of the application up to its granting
- Processing the extension of the protection to other territories
- Surveillance of the published patents owned by the competitors
- Opposing the granting of a patent owned by a competitor