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Utility model or a patent?

Patent and utility model are means of legal protection of inventions and technical solutions. The main differences between the patent system and the utility model system under the legislation in force in Slovakia are set out in the table below.

PatentUtility model

Period of validity

max. 20 years(from the date of application)

max. 10 years(from the date of application)


First 4 years:

until 10 years:

until 20 years


357,50 eura

1 219 eur

5 365,50 eura


33 eur

432 eur

Length of procedure

generally more than 3 years

normally within 9 months (if no objections have been lodged)


after 18 months from the right of priority

usually within 6 months

from the submission of the application

Course of action

- preliminary examination (in particular formalities)

- publication of the application

- full examination (patentability)

- grant of patent and issue of patent deed (if the application fulfils the conditions)

-  examination of eligibility for registration (in particular formalities)

- publication of the application

- the opposition to registration (if any)

- registration of the utility model in the register and issue of a certificate of registration (if the application meets the conditions)

* The above fees apply if the applicant is the originator or co-inventors, there are no more than 10 claims in the patent application, and the issuance of the patent document is up to 10 typewritten pages or drawings; in other cases, the fees may be higher.


You can take advantage of both types of industrial law protection by filing a utility model application and a patent application for the same invention or technical solution at the same time.

By filing a utility model application, you can obtain, in a relatively short time and for a low fee, a certificate of registration of the utility model and protection of your invention or technical solution pending the decision on the concurrently filed patent application. After the eventual grant of a patent for the same invention or technical solution, you may decide not to renew the utility model registration and to continue to maintain only the patent. In the event that the patent for the invention is not granted, your registered utility model may remain valid.

Other options are so-called diverging from a patent application to a utility model application or vice versa. You can use a patent to utility model application divert if, for example, only a patent application has been filed and it has been rejected or the proceedings have been discontinued (e.g. due to a failure to file a request for a full examination within the statutory time limit). The conversion from a patent application to a utility model application is possible within 2 months of the final decision on the patent application, but at the latest within 10 years of the filing of the application.

You can opt out of a utility model application for a patent application if, during the pendency of the application, you consider that protection by a utility model will not be sufficient, e.g. if the subject matter of the protection will be usable for a longer period of time - which is allowed by patent protection. You can switch from a utility model application to a patent application within 2 months of the final decision on the utility model application, but no later than 36 months after the filing of the utility model application.

In the event of a divergence, the Office shall grant the application the filing date and, where appropriate, the priority of the earlier filed application.