IP Key and the State Intellectual Property Office of China (SIPO) are engaged in a long-term series of activities to improve understanding about the workings of the utility model systems in China and in various EU Member States.
The utility model patent is often called a “second tier” patent given its typically less stringent requirements for grant and shorter lifespan compared with what is more conventionally considered a “patent”. The utility model system of patents has been shown in certain circumstances to stimulate incremental innovation, particularly in less developed countries as they seek to engage in technological learning and build their innovative capacity to relatively more advanced levels.
The SIPO-IP Key peer-to-peer exchange on utility models for 2014 consists of two components. As a first step, IP Key and SIPO collected hundreds of questions from their respective stakeholders that were then used to compile a short list of questions about the utility model systems in EU Member States and one about the utility model system in China. The questionnaires were exchanged in April 2014.
As a second step, an experience-sharing roundtable will be held at SIPO’s premises in Beijing from May 21 -22, 2014. Its purpose is to provide participants an opportunity for in-depth discussion of how utility model systems in several countries in Europe and China work and why, including insights into why and how certain systems have changed over time. The roundtable will cover substantive legal and procedural aspects behind utility model systems, as well as certain economic aspects underpinning the systems. Presentations on different aspects of the utility model system will be provided, and the majority of the roundtable will be devoted to semi-structured peer-to-peer discussions.
A group of six EU Member States with utility model systems will participate in the roundtable, namely the Austrian Patent Office (represented by Dr. Johannes Werner), Industrial Property Office of the Czech Republic (represented by Šimon Bednář), Finnish Patent and Registration Office (represented by Hanna Aho), French National Industrial Property Institute (French IP Office) (represented by Jean-Baptiste Barbier), German Patent and Trade Mark Office (represented by Dr. Johannes Holzer), and Italian Patent and Trademark Office (represented by Giovanni de Sanctis). These experts will be joined by up to fifteen SIPO representatives. Dan Prud’homme from the IP Key team will moderate the roundtable.