The utility-model system has undergone several significant revisions to date; such as the transition from the examination system to the non-examination system, and the change in the duration from 10 years to 6 years, and then back to 10 years. The subject of protection are devices, i.e., creations relating to the shape or structure of articles, and the objective of the system to provide them with a convenient protection remains unchanged. Unfortunately, however, the number of utility-model applications is only one several tenths of patent applications, and the system is not being used actively. Discussions have even been made into the reason of existence of the utility-model system.
However, if it is the case that a majority of secured patents are functioning only in a defensive manner, intellectual property management by way of utility-models may be worth consideration. We think utility-models may have a potential possibility suitable for constructing a new intellectual property strategy based on its agility, such as, for example, possessing a number of utility-model rights while assessing their validity through prior art searches using exclusive terminals at the Patent Office.