Utility Models: Do They Really Serve National Innovation Strategies?
The Innovation Society and Intellectual Property, in Josef Drexl & Anselm Kamperman Sanders (eds), Edward Elgar, 2019
17 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2018 Last revised: 21 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 13, 2018
There has been, in the last two decades, a growing belief within the intellectual property fraternity as to the desirability for and the relevance of a further tier of patent-like protection within the general intellectual property framework. Such laws, usually referred to as utility model laws, are considered to be conducive to innovation and growth in two different economic environments. Firstly, within established, developed economies, alternative sui generis regimes are viewed as a means of ameliorating the shortcomings of patent law, especially in relation to small and medium-sized enterprises in nationally important socio-economic sectors. Secondly, legal and economic scholars have praised the utility model regime as a necessary facet in promoting a sustainable development space to help struggling economies promote indigenous innovation.This paper considers the legal nature of and justificatory bases for ‘utility model’ protection. By undertaking a chronologically-based and comparative analysis of several utility model systems and discourses around the world, the paper attempts to determine whether utility models should, in certain pre-determined circumstances, be promoted as a more dominant form of intellectual property right in a country or region, as it would enhance development and innovation.
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