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Utility models and innovation patents
Some countries have a special type patent with a shorter duration and faster review process.
The exact details are not as globally standardised as regular patents.
There are various names for these:
- Australia: Innovation patents
- Germany: Gebrauchsmuster
- Indonesia: Petty Patent
- Malaysia: Utility innovation
- Spain: Modelo de utilidad
A long list can be found in the Wikipedia article: .
In South Africa, patent applications are only examined in case of dispute, which makes normal patents resemble utility models in some ways. However, the term is still 20 years.
 Australia's system
Australia's system is similar to the others. The main characteristics according to the patent office:
- Duration: 8 years
- Lower inventive requirement: "innovative step" rather than "inventive step"
- No examination performed, which makes them cheap and approval is usually less then a month
- But you have to submit it for examination if/when you want to enforce it
The patent office explicitly recommends them for "invention with a short market life (...) such as computer based inventions"
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