The Utility Model. The false adrenaline of inventors.

Al menos el 80% de nuestros clientes, llegan a Let’s Prototype creyendo tener una “mini-patente, pre-patente, antecedente de patente, patente express”, entre otros términos creativos, con los que les han “convencido” para contratar la protección de su invento a través de un Utility Model

You probably hadn’t even finished telling your idea, when arguments started raining in to develop a utility model instead of a patent. Of course! If it’s cheaper and “supposedly” protects you like a patent, you likely didn’t wait long, either, to accept a utility model as an alternative.

Can you really tell the differences between a Utility Model and a patent? (Next post in our Tips for Inventors section).

Do we understand the motives for dismissing a patent as an alternative?


Let’s start off with three realities: 

  • Most of the ideas we have are not patentable. This does not mean that you do not have a business opportunity. But it’s easier to convince ourselves about the virtues of “pre-patents,” the term by which the utility model is still popularly known.
  • Solicitar una patent cuesta mucho más caro que un Utility Model. Está claro, proponer la Patente a la mayoría de inventores, representaría la desaparición de al menos el 30% de los proveedores de estos servicios. (Siendo muy prudente)
  • Taking 2020 as a point of reference, 69% of the utility models applied for were granted. In the case of patents, only 25% were approved. Why complicate your life? The shortcut is… utility models for all.

Of course, we won’t just stick to our experience in light of such troublesome conclusions. 

Upon checking the technical definitions of utility model and patent, we find that both methods pursue a common objective “…promoting innovation and protecting inventors’ rights.” However, in the case of a utility model, it is defined as, “… The utility model protects inventions of a lower inventive rank than those protected by patents, consisting, for example, of giving an object a configuration or structure from which some utility or practical advantage might be derived.” Thus, a utility model is not a pre-patent.

Calculate the Value of Your Patent

Are you ready to find out the estimated value of your Patent or Utility Model?

According to the informative articles of the Oficina Española de Patentes y Marcas, or Spanish Office of Patents and Trademarks, in the case of utility models, the administrative fees cost €101.38, while, in the case of patents, it is around €1,200. But the outsized difference between rates is not representative. The difference between the two is even greater when we add the fees of those professionals who assist us with both processes. So, yes, based on our experience, we work with clients whose application processes represent investments greater than €60,000, while, in the case of clients with utility models, initial investments rarely exceed €2,900.

Let’s use common sense:

How many of the 3,419 inventors who applied for and paid utility model applications in 2020 would have filed a patent application?

By how much would the sales volume of agents dedicated to the sector be reduced?

If you answer these questions using common sense, you surely would not be surprised by the irrefutable shift in trend which we have undergone, with little transparency, during the last five years. 

Utility Model

If you have found this post useful, write us at erick.remedios@letsprototype.comso we can forward you the next “Tip for Inventors” titled “Technical differences between a utility model and a patent.” You may also schedule a direct call with our team of experts: SCHEDULE A CALL NOW..

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