Protection of intellectual property may avail of one or more of the following monopoly rights.
Patent – A patent is a property right on a technical invention (apparatus and / or method) that is officially examined for novelty and inventive step over the prior art and its industrial applicability. It has a maximum term of 20 years up from the filing date, provided that the annual maintenance fees are paid.
Utility Model – A utility model is a property right on a technical invention (only apparatus possible), which is officially checked under formal aspects only. It has a maximum term of 10 years from the filing date, provided that the maintenance fees are paid after 3, 6 and 8 years. A grace period of 6 months is granted to the inventor, during which a publication by the inventor is held none prejudicial to novelty.
Trademark – A trademark is a property right on words, letters, numbers, pictures, colors and melodies, which is officially checked under formal aspects only. Public interest to freely use the trademark and/or descriptive indication of goods and services may exclude from registration. A trademark offers a minimum term of 10 years from the filing date which may be renewed arbitrarily for another 10 years, provided that the maintenance fees are paid.
Design – Designs are protected by design patents that grant a property right to an appearance of an object, ie its shape and color. It is the nature of the subject matter of significance that goes beyond the usual appearance. Designs have a maximum term of 25 years from the filing date, provided that the maintenance fees are paid every 5 years.