Invention Patent x Utility Model in Brazil

In Brazil there are three types of protection: invention patent, utility model and certificate of addition, learn the differences between them.

The invention patent protects a new solution to an existing technical problem with industrial application and non-obviousness (it is not derived in an evident or obvious way from the state of the art), in other words, it protects a new technical functional effect, which may refer to industrial products and activities. Its validity is 20 years counted from the filing date. The certificate of addition is an improvement that has been introduced into the invention patent, even if devoid of inventive step, provided that the matter is included in the same inventive concept; its validity and fees follow the dates of the “mother patent”, it is an accessory of the invention patent.

On the other hand, the utility model protects an object of practical use or part of it. It must be three-dimensional and involve an inventive step (it is not derived in a common or ordinary way from the state of the art) that results in a functional improvement in the use or manufacturing of a product, in addition, it meets the industrial application requirement. The utility model is valid for 15 years from the filing date. Another important difference is that the utility model application must contain a single independent claim; dependent claims are accepted in specific situations.

Related to the requesting of technical examination, the utility model and certificate of addition have a fixed examination fee, that is, regardless of the number of claims, the amount to be paid is the same. The invention patent examination fee is fixed up to ten claims, above that, an extra fee is added per claim. In addition, annual fees (annuities) are more expensive for invention patents than for utility models and certificates of addition.

Furthermore, still in the case of examination, it is important to mention that the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office (INPI-BR) conducts the substantial examination of utility models, therefore, patentability requirements are also examined and not only the formal requirements, as it happens in China, for example.

It is possible to identify the patent type through the numerical attribution generated by the Brazilian Patent Office system after the letters “BR”. Invention patents, which were formerly represented by “PI” (initials of “Patentes de Invenção”, in Portuguese) have the codes: BR 10 (invention applications directly filed), BR 11 (applications filed via PCT) and BR 12 (divided applications). Utility models (formerly “MU”, initials of “Modelo de Utilidade”) are represented by the codes BR 20 (applications directly filed), BR 21 (applications via PCT) and BR 22 (divided applications). Certificates of addiction (formerly C1, C2, etc.) receive the code BR 13.

Although it is possible to change the patent type (examples: invention patent into utility model or certificate of addiction into invention patent), it is interesting to analyze the normative instructions and resolutions provided by the Brazilian Patent Office, since the office actions generates extra costs and delay the examination.

When you are in doubt as to which type is suitable for your invention, it is important to hire a professional specialized in Brazilian intellectual property law for making the examination smooth and avoiding mistakes.

For drafting and filling your patent application, you may count on the CNV IP Law Firm, which through its founding partner, has 37 years of experience in these services.