What is a patent?

• A patent is a title acknowledging the right to exclusively exploit the patented invention, and keeping others from making, selling or using the invention without the rightsholder’s consent. In consideration of this protection the Patent is made publicly available for general knowledge.

• The right granted by a Patent is not so much that of manufacturing, marketing and using the Patent subject matter, which is always owned and can always be exercised by the holder, as it is especially and particularly the “right to exclude others” from the manufacturing, using or introduction of the patented product or process in the trade.

• The Patent can cover a new process, a new device, a new product or an improvement or perfection thereof.


What is a utility model?

• A Utility Model protects inventions of less inventive nature than those protected by Patents, like a new configuration or structure for an object which brings some useful advantage or practicality.
• The device, tool or instrument subject to protection under the Utility Model is usually characterised by its “utility” and “practicality”, not by its “appearance”, as is the case for industrial design.
• The scope of a Utility Model protection is similar to that granted by a Patent.


What is an industrial design?

In the Industrial Property field, industrial design means the appearance or ornamentation of a product, which makes it visually different from the rest, without considering any of its technical or functional features.
Generally, an industrial design can consist of:

  • three-dimensional elements, such as the shape of a product
  • two-dimensional elements, such as ornaments, figures, lines or colours of the product
  • a combination of the aforementioned elements

What is the difference between a trademark and other industrial property rights such as patents and designs?

All industrial property rights are intended to protect the creativity of companies and individuals. However, they don’t cover the same aspects.
Trademarks identify the origin of a company’s products and services to differentiate them from competitors.
Designs cover the shape of a product. They cannot protect the function of a product.
Patents protect the function, operation or construction of an invention. To be eligible for patenting, a function must be innovatory, have an industrial application and be described in such a way that an expert in the art could recreate the process