– Utility Model Law, in force since May 23, 1994, amended in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2014; last amendments in force since April 1, 2019.
Membership in International Conventions
– See under “Patents of Invention“.
Applicant: the inventor(s) or the legal successor(s).
Foreign applicant: must elect and authorize a local registered patent attorney.
Protectable as utility models: devices, methods and compositions.
Criteria of registrability: worldwide novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability.
Exceptions to registration: (1) inventions contrary to public orderand morality; (2) methods of treatment and diagnostic methods practiced on the human or animal body; (3) topography of microcircuit; (4) biotechnological inventions.
Priority: according to the Paris Convention.
Conversion: a patent application may be converted into a utility model application maintaining the priority of the patent application. The request for conversion has to be filed by the applicant within ten years of the date of filing the patent application.
Filing requirements for an application (to be sent to local patent attorney):
1. Power of attorney (only upon request) (same requirements as for “patents“);
2. Patent specification comprising claims. Title of the invention and abstract both in Estonian and English;
3. Formal drawings;
4. Priority documents;
5. Deed of assignment (if priority is claimed, and the applicant in the registration application differs from the one shown on the priority document).
Note: see note as to “patents“.
Electronic filing: available.
Formal examination (whether the utility model application is formally in order) and prior art search. No examination as to novelty and industrial applicability.
Amendments of application: possible after filing but the nature of the initial application cannot be changed.
Opposition to the decision of the Patent Office: handled by the Board of Appeal.
Complaints against the decision of the Board of Appeal: handled by court.
Publication: after recording registration, in the State Utility Model Register. Publication includes prior art search.
Grant: from date of recording the registration in the State Utility Model Register.
Delay in recording: possible for eighteen months from priority date (upon request of applicant that has to be filed together with the utility model application).
Duration: four years from date of filing the application.
Renewal: for the next four years and then the next two years, upon payment of State renewal fees.
Cancellation after registration: through court within the whole duration of validity of the registration.
Rights of the owner of a registration: identical with the rights of a patentee (see under “Patents of Invention“).
Modification of Registration after Granting
Assignments, right of prior user, working, infringements and liability of an infringer: the same as for “patents“.
Licenses: as for “patents“; open license to be registered in the Utility Model Register.
Compulsory licenses: not provided.