The utility model as a “small patent” is a method to protect inventions of a company. Utility models as a technical property right can be registered faster than patents, but are not examined in detail by the DPMA, so that the entrepreneur runs the risk that the protection may not be as comprehensive as he thought, because his invention later turns out to be not unique. This is then urgently examined in infringement and cancellation proceedings.
Designs as industrial property rights for shape and design can also be registered throughout Europe via the Office for Harmonization in Alicante. This gives the owner the exclusive right to use an aesthetic design form. The design patent is subject to similar disadvantages as the utility model.