If utility model protection is sought outside of Denmark, subsequent applications have to be filed within the priority year, that is to say, before 12 months have passed from the filing of the Danish application. In that way, utility model protection may be obtained abroad, the protection being valid from the priority date.
A few countries provide for a grace period, which makes it possible to apply for a utility model even though the invention has already been disclosed.
Similarly to patent rights, utility model protection outside of Denmark may be pursued via three different routes.
The first option is an international patent application (PCT-application). In countries providing legislation for both patents and utility models it is often possible to apply for a utility model and a patent with a single PCT-application. Thus, the option for both rights is retained at the time of filing the PCT-application. Whether both types of protection can be obtained depends on national legislation.
Secondly, in accordance with the European patent convention (EPC) a European patent application may be filed claiming priority from a Danish utility model application. A few EPC member states have national provisions that allow for conversion of the European patent application into a national utility model or a national patent application.
Finally, national utility model or patent applications may be filed in each country for which protections is sought.
The individual selection of one or more routes largely depends on the number and choice of countries in which the product is to be marketed.
It is important to note that utility model registration is not available in all countries. The only remaining option in these countries is to file a patent application claiming priority from a previous utility model application.
Some countries, including Denmark, further allow that a utility model, a national patent and a European patent co-exist for the same invention. Below is a list of a number of countries that provide for utility model protection on certain conditions.
Countries with legislation on utility model protection
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