Industrial design and utility model patents in the Philippines are two confusing concepts seldom known to the public. What usually comes to mind when there are inventions is the term “patent.” Inventions though, can still be protected despite its failure to meet the rigid standards imposed for patent registrations. This protection provided by Philippine intellectual property laws are in the forms of industrial design and utility model registrations.

To prevent much confusion between industrial designs and utility models in the Philippines, below are their similarities and differences:

  • As to similarities

1)      Both are required to be new in the field where each belongs.

2)      Both must be created, manufactured or produced out of innovative concepts that are short of passing the standards of patent registrations.

3)      Both must be industrially applicable, meaning, of practical use and capable of being mass produced or utilized in industries.

  • As to differences

1)      Industrial design registration protects the ornamental or aesthetic aspects of the product. It is more concerned on the innovative two or three dimensional features. Utility model registration on the other hand, protects the structural elements of the product. For example, if there is a new shape for a certain product, what is registrable for a utility model is the skeleton or framework that creates the new shape. Whereas for the industrial design, what is registrable is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of such shape.

2)      The overall innovativeness or creativity of the design is registrable under industrial designs. For utility models however, even if only one aspect of the product structure is new, such portion is already registrable.

Indeed, if we coin the term industrial designs for “aesthetic aspects” and utility models for “structural aspects,” these used-to-be-confusing concepts become clearer and more understandable.

Our firm has a wealth of experience in registering industrial designs and utility models in the Philippines. To have a clearer background on these confusing concepts, please do not hesitate to call us at (+632) 310-1020. It is our privilege to be of service to you.