In Denmark it is possible to file a Utility Model. An object of a Utility Model is referred to as a “creation” corresponding to an “invention” of a patent application.
The creation of a Utility Model must be new (global novelty), differ distinctly from prior art and be industrially applicable. Basically, a Utility Model must fulfill the same conditions as an invention of a patent application, although an invention must “differ essentially” from prior art which is considered to be a more significant difference. However, it must be possible to argue that some advantage is obtained by the creation of the Utility Model.
The Utility Model provides an exclusive right for up to 10 years, if renewal fees are paid respectively 3 and 6 years after filing.
Utility models can be registered for products, apparatuses and applications, it cannot be registered for methods. The applicant may request an examination to establish whether the creation is new and differs distinctly from the prior art. If an examination is not requested, the utility model will be registered without examination.
If the Utility Model is a first application, the applicant may choose to proceed with the utility model application internationally, either as an international application (PCT), European application (EP), or filing in another country with priority from the Danish Utility Model application. Such applications must be filed within 12 months of the date of filing the Danish Utility Model application.
See laws relating to Utility Models: http://www.dkpto.org/ip-law--policy/law.aspx
If the utility model application meets the requirements of the Consolidate Utility Model Act, the utility model application will be registered within 2-3 months.
If the utility model application is examined for novelty and inventive step, the applicant will receive the first evaluation within 3 to 4 months from the date of request.
Request for examination
Any party may request examination of an Utility Model throughout the life time of the Utility Model.
This means that although the applicant may have decided to have the Utility Model application examined upon filing, a third-party may file a request for examination after the application is registered and e.g. introduce new documents in the procedure.
If a third-party requests examination, the third party pays the examination fee. The applicant will be informed by the Danish Patent Office that a request for examination has been filed, and the applicant may then file comments to the arguments of the request. There is no official fee involved at the applicant’s end, our fee relating to such a response normally amounts to between 1200 and 3500 Euro depending on the complexity of the response.
Examination or not?
Whether a Utility Model is examined or not, is of importance if the owner decides to instigate court actions in Denmark based on the Utility Model. If the owner wishes to enforce a Utility Model, it must be examined. However, should the owner need to have the Utility Model examined after registration, the owner may file a request for examination and pay the examination fee.
Although a creation has been searched and examined in another country, examination of a Danish Utility Model will include a search in Danish, Swedish and Norwegian documents and this might add new documents to a novelty search.
Also, if it is decided to amend the claims as a consequence of an examination procedure, the possibilities for formulating amended claims are less restricted if it is done before registration i.e. in connection with the filing. After registration you may not extend the scope of the claims.
The basic fee for a utility model application is DKK 2000.
The fee for examination before or after registration is DKK 4000.
December 2017 our fee for filing a Utility Model, no matter whether you wish to have the Utility Model examined or not, is 5000 DKK (approximately 680 Euro).
The utility model registration is effective until 3 years have elapsed from the date of filing, after this date renewal fees must be paid.
If an application is filed on 10th January 2018, a first renewal fee of 2000 DKK (approximately 270 Euro) is to be paid when 3 years have elapsed, i.e. the due date being 31-1-2021, and a second renewal fee of 3000 DKK (approximately 405 Euro) is to be paid after 6 years, i.e. the due date being 31-1-2024. The renewal fee falls due on the last day of the month in which the fee period begins. Renewal fees may not be paid earlier than 3 months before the due date.
Price list from the DKPTO: https://www.dkpto.dk/media/1045/prisliste-rettigheder.pdf
(The price list of the DKPTO includes information about all fees related to utility models)
The complete specification and claims must be translated into Danish before registration.
The application may be filed in another language, and then the applicant will have approximately 1 month to produce and file a Danish translation of the full text of the Utility Model.
It is possible to request to have the examination procedure conducted in English. The applicant may therefore choose to file a foreign language text first and then e.g. file an English translation of the text and request examination in English. In this way, filing of the translation into Danish may be postponed until the application has been accepted.