An invention patent is concerned with any technical solution of a problem in any field of human activity which is new, involves an inventive step and is industrially applicable. Such definition makes it difficult for people to secure an invention patent because most matters or products have already been invented. One may wonder what type of protection can be given to those who have succeeded in improving an existing product or technology. The answer to this is a utility model. Oftentimes referred to as a “petty patent”, a product may be protected as a utility model if it is new and industrially applicable. A utility model may be applied for useful machines, tools, products, processes and the like. More importantly, improvements of such products or even existing inventions can be protected as utility models.
In a world where copying is rampant, it is important to secure protection for a utility model. If no protection is applied for and sought, anyone can just copy, sell, distribute and manufacture such product. This will deprive the real maker of the profits that he should have earned from the sale or distribution of his product.
In order to protect a utility model, one must file an application with the Philippine Intellectual Property Office. The requirements for filing a utility model application are as follows:
1. Filing Letter;
2. Request for Registration of Utility Model;
3. Specifications, Claims, Abstract and Formal Drawings;
4. Special Power of Attorney executed by the authorized representative of the applicant designating a Philippine Firm as its attorney-in-fact and agent for the application;
5. If the applicant is claiming convention priority, a certified copy of the foreign application, together with an English translation thereof;
6. Payment of filing fees.
After a utility model application is filed, it will be subjected to formality examination. If there are no issues or problems, the application will be recommended for publication and thereafter published. If there is no opposition or adverse information within two (2) months from publication, the application will be considered registered as of the date of publication. Finally, a Certificate of Registration will be issued by the Philippine Intellectual Property Office.
It must be noted that the registration of the Industrial Design shall be valid for seven (7) years from the filing date of the application without possibility of renewal.
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