CUIPFAQsUtility Model Patent
Utility Model Patent(From TIPO)

A utility model is a creation of technical ideas relating to the shape or structure of an article or combination of articles which occupies certain space, utilizing the laws of nature. Manufacturing method, processing method, using method, chemical substance or compound without concrete shape or structure does not meet the definition of utility model.

If you file a patent application for invention and a patent application for utility model for the same creation on the same date, before an approval decision on the patent application for invention is rendered, TIPO will require you to make a selection to avoid double patenting. Once the invention patent application is selected, the utility model patent right will extinguish on the publication date of the invention patent.

To enjoy this continuous protection, you must declare the existence of the other application at the time of filing in both applications, and must maintain the validity of the utility model patent until the publication date of the invention patent.

A utility model patent shall not be granted if it is contrary to public order or morality.

To apply for a utility model patent, you have to submit an application form, a description, claim(s), an abstract and drawing(s).

TIPO adopts formality examination instead of substantive examination for a utility model patent. After a utility model patent application is accepted, TIPO will take the initiative in conducting the formality examination automatically.

The average time to conclude a case was around 4 months in 2013.

When TIPO sends you a notification of reasons for refusal, you are given an opportunity to respond to it. The deadline to respond is 1 month for applicants residing in ROC and 2 months for applicants residing outside ROC. You should respond by submitting a written argument or a written amendment, depending on the situation.

Prior to the expiration of the time period, the applicant may make a request for an extension. The time period of the extension is also 1 month for applicants residing in ROC and 2 months for applicants residing outside ROC.

If you don’t respond before the deadline, TIPO will make the decision of refusal.

If a utility model patent applicant is dissatisfied with a decision of refusal, he/she may file an administrative appeal to the Petitions and Appeals Committee of the Ministry of Economic Affairs within 30 days after the date on which the decision of refusal is served.

Owing to patentability is not substantively examined for a utility model patent application, there is considerable unstableness and uncertainty with respect to validity of a utility model patent. If a patentee inappropriately exercises such uncertain right, the patent rights may possibly be abused, which may hinder a third person’s research and development. Therefore, anyone is allowed to request TIPO for a Technical Evaluation Report in order to clarify if the said utility model patent complies with the patentability. However, the Technical Evaluation Report is merely a reference for exercising the rights to utility model patent or for technical reference. Anyone having a cause as to that a utility model patent should not be approved has to institute an invalidation action in order to revoke such utility model patent.