Today's publication of the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-180/11 Bericap Záródástechnikai Bt. v Plastinnova 2000 Kft., Szellemi Tulajdon Nemzeti Hivatala intervening, gave some high-profile coverage to utility model protection -- a species of secondary protection for innovation which has yet to be harmonised in the European Union, despite its manifest potential and, where the right exists at national level, substantial value.
Secondary protection of innovations is generally achieved through a registration system in which the innovation in question -- which may well be eligible for a full-scale patent -- is required to possess criteria of novelty and inventiveness, but is not not subjected to the laborious, slow and expensive examination process as a precondition of grant. Accordingly, while the legal mechanisms that provide for secondary protection (petty patents, utility models, etc) do not confer the same level of presumptive validity as a fully-fledged patent, they can be a valuable market tool for businesses, especially SMEs, which may not have the capital or the patience to secure and exploit a full patent. This device is also attractive for businesses that do not require protection beyond their own local markets.
Secondary protection of innovations is the subject of JIPLP's inaugural seminar to celebrate its cooperation with leading German intellectual property periodical GRUR Int. Details of this seminar may be found on an earlier blogpost here. Bookings for this free event are already coming in and we are hoping to provide an occasion to remember. Do join us!
Late news: CPD points will be provided ...