Almost any technical solution which is industrially applicable and differing from the known state of the art can be protected by means of the utility model legal procedure. Exclusions concern methods, rules, technologies, decorative solutions, printed circuit board (PCB) topology and solutions conflicting with the public interest.
According to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, novelty requirement in relation to patentability of utility models is defined as absence of knowledge in the art within the Russian Federation. Materials, disclosing the technical solution to be patented which are published in the Russian Federation and abroad, render the technical solution unpatentable. Records, indicating use of the technical solution abroad, do not destroy its novelty. A Utility model application is not required to be non-obviousness in the Russian Federation.
Thus, if some technical solution is not published worldwide and there are no records indicating use of this technical solution in Russia, the applicant can gain an exclusive right to produce, sell or exploit it. The aforesaid exclusive right is in effect for 10 years from the priority date.
Examination of the Utility model application is performed according to formal criteria, but does not include information searches and industrial applicability checks.
If any competitor allegedly infringes the technical solution protected by the Utility model certificate, its owner can sue the competitor, and a court decision will establish the issues of patentability and infringement.
Since Russia is the only BRICS country in Europe and having regard to a very low official fee ($14) for filing and examination of Utility model applications, we are of the opinion that the described legal procedure is very simple, easy and cost-effective and should be implemented by companies with ambitions in Russia.