If there is any doubt that your own utility model has been infringed upon or you are infringing upon someone else's utility model, it is wise to first verify the validity of the utility model.
In utility model applications the authorities do not specifically investigate whether an invention is new and inventive as stipulated in law. The only requirement for approval of a utility model in the register is that the application is formally in order. Consequently, if there is any doubt that your own utility model has been infringed upon or you are infringing upon someone else's utility model, it is wise to first verify the validity of the utility model.
WHEN SHOULD I REQUEST A PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION?
A preliminary examination of your own utility model should be conducted by a patent agent or patent authority especially if:
* A competitor is making use of an invention specified in the utility model, or
* You want to stop any competitor actions involving utilisation of the invention as quickly as possible, or
* No more than (approx.) 8 months have passed since submission of the application and the intention is to expand the protection range to include foreign countries during the priority year, or
* The competitor continues actions that utilise the invention while aware of the utility model.
A third party should correspondingly have a patent attorney conduct a preliminary novelty search or request the National Board of Patents and Registration to investigate whether the invention specified in the utility model differs significantly from what was previously known (which is a requirement for valid protection) if:
* The third party has received a warning notice concerning utility model infringement and
* The third party's own product is similar to the invention protected by the utility model and
* The third party is uncertain as to whether the invention described in the utility model can be proved to be previously known based on data in possession of the third party.