Utility Model
  A utility model is an unexamined industrial property right with a maximum duration of 10 years. Legal protection for utility models can be attained for new technical inventions (except for processes) which are new, industrially applicable and which are based on an inventive step. The technical inventions subject to utility model protection are, inter alia, devices, electronic controls and chemical substances. Not patentable under the Utility Model Act are, for example, discoveries, mathematical methods, rules for performing mental acts (e.g. rules of a game or use instructions), aesthetic creations and medical treatments.

Even though the requirements for the registration of a utility model essentially correspond to those for the protection of a patent, the utility model is not examined with regard to its contents prior to the registration. The substantial examination of the utility model for novelty, the existence of an inventive step and industrial applicability is performed only in litigation. As a utility model is not substantially examined, but only formally, the protection of a utility model can typically be obtained not only faster, but also at lower costs than the patent protection.