I. GENERAL INFORMATION
Development of new technologies causes that new machines and devices, which cannot be protected with a patent due to lower level of invention, are created. Such type solutions are being protected as utility models. Having acquired protection for a utility model you get exclusivity for its use in a professional way, or for a consideration, for 10 years as of filing your application in the Patent Office. Without your consent nobody can use the utility model.
A utility model is a new and useful solution of technical character pertaining to shape, design or arrangement of an object of permanent form.
A utility model, being an intangible asset, can be a subject of lien. The utility model is negotiable instrument and can be inherited. Possessing a utility model you can conclude a licence agreement for its use, which will give you an extra incentive.
II. HOW TO GET A UTILITY MODEL PROTECTION
1. Selection of Attorney
It is well worth to use the services, in Patent Office proceedings, of a patent attorney, who will act as your attorney and prepare in a professional way the application documentation so that the protection scope be as broad as possible.
According to article 236 The Industrial Property Law Act (Official Journal of Laws No 119, Section 1117): “An attorney of any party in the proceedings before the Patent Office in any cases associated with filing and consideration of applications and maintenance of protection for inventions, trade marks (…), can only be the patent attorney”.
Any citizens of foreign countries and foreign companies can proceed before the Patent Office of the Republic of Poland only via patent attorneys having fixed abode in Poland.
The patent attorney is authorised to act in the capacity of an attorney before the Patent Office, Chamber of Appeal, Courts of Justice and any other bodies in matters associated with industrial property protection.
The Power of Attorney required by the Patent Office shall be made by the Patent Attorney’s Office and signed by a person authorised to represent the company.
Using services of our Office you may rest assured that we will handle your case in a comprehensive and professional way. All payments associated with utility model protection will be signed by our Office, which will be very important for you because you’ll be getting many calls for payments by companies encouraging you to put your utility model in their private registers under cover of linking with protection in Polish Patent Office or EPO. Thanks to comprehensive service provided by our Office you will avoid such undue payments.
2. Documents needed for acquisition of utility model protection
In order to efficiently and quickly go through the utility model protection procedure you will need:
- Home address – if the applicant is a natural person;
- TIN and company registration numbers
- Utility model inventor particulars – if it is person other than the applicant
- Utility model technical drawings, best of all in electronic form, in JPG, PDF formats (if you don’t have technical drawings the Office will commission making them);
- It would be beneficial, if you had the utility model description with particulars of any earlier devices, based on which your utility model was created (however, possession of such description is not absolutely necessary).
During a meeting the inventor or applicant will provide all the essential information on the solution design and/or operation.
The Power of Attorney and essential orders are drafted by the Office.
3. Utility model examination procedure
The next stage of utility model protection acquisition is examination of its protection capability by the Patent Attorney’s Office. Such examination is not compulsory but it gives the applicant a number of benefits:
- Thanks to this examination you will avoid the costs associated with filing of the utility model application, which would stand no chance for protection. The utility model registration procedure takes a dozen or so months and the Patent Office does not reimburse the charges incurred for filing application of a utility model, which cannot be protected.
- You will be able to implement changes in your utility model, which will make possible or facilitate acquisition of protection and which could not be implemented after filing the application to the Patent Office.
- You will avoid or mitigate the costs associated with any necessity to defend the utility model against Patent Office’s objections as to its lack of registrability or limitation of its protection.
- You will avoid a possibility of conflict with owners of similar but already registered utility models.
4. Selection of the protection acquisition procedure
Utility model protection pertains to a specific territory. To acquire protection you can use the national procedure thanks to which your utility model will be protected in the territory of given country. In Poland protection for utility models is granted by the Patent Office having its registered office in Warsaw.
To acquire protection in territories of other countries you can avail yourself of:
- Individual utility model application in given country, which procedure shall be effected by the Patent Attorney’s Office via partner offices in given countries;
- As in the case of a patent, international procedures can be used.
5. Utility model protection acquisition
Once the utility model protection is awarded, relevant office will issue the Protection Certificate, which is a document confirming acquisition of protection for given utility model. The document indicates the date as of which the utility model is protected, number of the right awarded, utility model owner, utility model inventor, utility model description together with drawings.
The utility model will be protected for 10 years. After expiry of this period its protection expires.
The Patent Attorney’s Office of Aneta Balwierz-Michalska will take care of timely payment of fees for subsequent protection periods.