The International Legal Framework for the Protection of Utility Models

24 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2012

See all articles by Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan

Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan

University of Cambridge Fellow, King's College Cambridge; University of Cambridge

Date Written: October 1, 2012


In recent years, the protection of utility models is attracting renewed attention by policy makers in developing countries and on the international level. At the core is often the question whether utility models (also called petty - or innovation patents, etc) can serve as a tool to facilitate minor and incremental technological innovation, especially by small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This paper does not attempt in any way to answer this question. It however purports to analyze the flexibilities the international IP system leaves for states to design a system of utility models. This sets out the framework within which countries can operate. Given that utility model protection is one of the few internationally recognized, but hardly regulated areas of IP protection, examining the international framework opens the eyes for a fresh look at the wide range of options on the table when dealing with minor technological innovation.

Keywords: intellectual property, utility models, international IP law, incremental innovation, SMEs

Suggested Citation

Grosse Ruse-Khan, Henning, The International Legal Framework for the Protection of Utility Models (October 1, 2012). Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property & Competition Law Research Paper No. 12-10, Available at SSRN: or

Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge Fellow, King's College Cambridge ( email )

King's Parade
Cambridge, CB2 1ST
United Kingdom

University of Cambridge ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics