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Utility Model Patent Application
Information provider:zanya consultants    Updated:2016/10/24    Website:www.companyformation86.com

Definition of Utility Model Patent

“Utility model” means a new technical solution relating to the shape, the structure, or their combination, of a product which is fit for practical use. In other words, utility model patents protect products, but not methods. A Chinese utility model is valid for a term of 10 years from the filing date.. A Chinese utility model is valid for a term of 10 years from the filing date.


Utility model patents are not granted for inventions involving homeland security or important national interests. An immoral invention, or an invention harmful to the public interest, would not be granted such a patent. Nor would an invention that violates any other laws, or that uses genetic materials that are obtained illegally, will be granted a utility model patent.

Other subjects ineligible for utility model patent protection include the following:

(1) scientific discoveries;

(2) rules and methods for mental activities;

(3) methods for the diagnosis or for the treatment of diseases;

(4) animal and plant varieties;

(5) substances obtained by means of nuclear transformation.


Advantages of Getting a Utility Model Patent

1. A utility model patent provides a cheap and quick way to protect product inventions. It takes about a year for a utility model patent application to be granted, while it takes three to five years to obtain invention patents. This is because a patent application for a utility model patent need under go only preliminary examination.


2. Chinese utility model practice does allow an exception to double patenting which may interest many applicants. In particular, Chinese patent law allows an applicant to file a utility model application and an invention application for the same subject matter on the same day. The utility model is usually granted first and when the invention application is ready to be allowed, and the utility model is still valid, the applicant may abandon the utility model and choose the invention patent. The utility model is then abandoned on the issue day of the invention patent.


3. Another interesting aspect of Chinese utility model practice is that in terms of obviousness, a utility model has a patentability standard lower than that for an invention. The Guidelines for Examination prescribe that usually only one or two pieces of prior art shall be used to assess the obviousness of a utility model and examiners usually only consider the references in the same technical field rather than similar or related technical fields, as they do for an invention. Thus, in practice, it is difficult to invalidate a utility model on the ground of obviousness.

4. The utility model is a quick and cost ­efficient way to protect products with short life cycles. Invention patents may not be suitable for protecting such products since they take two or more years to grant.  Utility models, on the other hand, can offer protection much more quickly and the ten ­year term may well be long enough.

5. The utility model is suitable for “urgent protection”. Where a product is to be launched imminently in China or abroad and where there is no time for sophisticated drafting, a utility model application can be filed with a possibly narrow scope of claims — which in extreme cases may only cover the actual product. For multinational companies with inventions coming out of China, this could be particularly useful.


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