Utility Model

What is a utility model?

A utility model is a protection option designed to protect innovations that are not sufficiently inventive to meet the inventive threshold required for standard patents application. Utility model registration is intended to accommodate local industries, small businesses or entities by providing an industrial property right that is relatively inexpensive, quick, easy to obtain and suited to innovations having short commercial life.

How long is the term of protection of a utility model?

A utility model is entitled to 7 years of protection from the date of filing, with no possibility of renewal.

What are examples of products that a utility model protects?

Useful machine, implement, tools, product, composition, process, improvement or part of the same, that is of practical utility, novelty and industrial applicability.

What is the difference between an invention and a utility model?

Unlike an invention, a utility model need not have an inventive step. Also, it is not subject to substantive examination but is only subject to formality examination. Finally, the term of the utility model is only 7 years from filing versus 20 years for an invention.

What are non-registrable utility models?

The same provisions as provided for in Rule 202 of the IRR (i.e “Non-Patentable Inventions”) are also applicable to non-registrable utility models:

  1. Discoveries, scientific theories, and mathematical methods, a law of nature, a scientific truth, or knowledge as such;
  2. Abstract ideas or theories, fundamental concepts apart from the means or processes for carrying the concept to produce a technical effect;
  3. Schemes, rules, and methods of performing mental acts and playing games;
  4. Method of doing business, such as a method or system for transacting business without the technical means for carrying out the method or system;
  5. Programs for computers;
  6. Methods for treatment of the human or animal body by surgery or therapy and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body. This provision shall not apply to products and compositions for use in any of these methods;
  7. Plant varieties or animal breeds or essentially biological process for the production of plants and animals. This provision shall not apply to microorganisms and non-biological and microbiological processes;
  8. Aesthetic creations; and
  9. Anything which is contrary to public order, health, welfare, or morality, or process for cloning or modifying the germ line genetic identity of humans or animals or uses of the human embryo

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What are the requirements for filing utility model application?

An applicant must submit the following:

  1. Request for Registration of a Utility Model Application
  2. Description of the utility model
  3. Drawings (if any)
  4. One or more claims, and
  5. Abstract.
  6. If the priority of an earlier filed application is claimed, the details of the claim, i.e., filing date, file number and country of origin must be submitted.

The Request Form (IPOPHL has a prescribed form) must contain the following:

  1. Title of the Application
  2. Name of Applicant (or applicants, if there are more than one)
  3. Address of Applicant/s
  4. Country of Nationality & Residence of Applicant/s
  5. Name of Maker (or makers, if there are more than one)
  6. Address of Maker/s
  7. Country of Nationality & Residence of Maker/s
  8. Priority Claim details (if any) –i.e. Country, Filing Date & Application No.

A Power of Attorney appointing a resident agent is required if the applicant is not domiciled in the Philippines

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How can one claim a priority in the utility model application?

A utility model application filed by any person who has previously applied for the same utility model in another country which by treaty, convention, or law affords similar privileges to citizens of the Philippines, shall be considered as filed as of the date of filing the foreign application, provided, that:

  • The local application expressly claims priority;
  • The Philippine application is filed within twelve (12) months from the date when the earliest application was filed; and
  • A certified copy of the foreign application together with an English translation thereof, if not in English, is filed within six (6) months from the date of filing in the Philippines.)

What are the procedures from application filing until registration of a utility model?

  • Formality Examination - After filing the utility model application, formality examination will be conducted. The examiner will issue an official action containing his findings as to whether or not formality requirements have been completed. Applicant must respond within two months from the mailing date of the Official Action. For justifiable reasons, an extension of time (2 months) may be requested. Failure to respond to the office action within the deadline (or extended deadline) will cause the application to be deemed abandoned

  • Publication – After the formality requirements have been met, the application will be recommended for publication. Once the mark is published, any party may filed an adverse information against the application within 30 days from publication date.

  • Registration – If no adverse information is filed, the application will be confirmed to registration and the certificate will be issued. Normally, it takes about one to two years for a utility model application to be granted.
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How much will it cost to file a utility model application?

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