Utility model

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Like patents, utility models belonged to technical protective rights, i.e. a technical content must underlie the application for protection. The utility model law (GbrMG) also stipulates in this regard in § 1(1) that only inventions are protected as utility models.

However, since no conclusively generally valid definition exists for the term "invention", the GbrMG in its § 1(2) also explicitly excludes from utility model protection non-technical innovations, such as discoveries, scientific theories, mathematical models, aesthetic form creations, plans, rules and methods for intellectual activities, games, commercial activities, programs for data-processing systems, the reproduction of information and biotechnical inventions.

§ 1(1) GbrMG further stipulates that the invention must meet the legally required protection prerequisites, i.e. it must be novel, be based on inventive step and be susceptible of industrial application, for a viable utility model to be acquired.

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