Recently, we are consulted by foreign clients the difference between utility model and invention by China Patent Law. Today’s post is Bridge IP Law Commentary’s reply on the question. (the image above is the logo of the State Intellectual Property Office of China, the organ administrating in patent issues)
I. The difference in the scope of the protected object
According to the patent law, the “Invention” means any new technical solution relating to a product, a process or an improvement thereof, while the “Utility model” shall refer to any new technical solution relating to a product’s shape, structure, or a combination thereof, which is fit for practical use. Despite both being the technical solution, the utility model only involves the aspect of shape, structure and other tangible solution, while the inner process or intangible solution, like molecular structure or pharmacy, is included in the invention. Therefore, the utility model shall be included in the invention, thus any invention could also be applied as the utility model.