Utility Model Cancellation Proceedings

Anyone may file a request for cancellation of a registered utility model within the term of protection. A total of four categories of grounds for cancellation are available to reason the request.

Lack of protectability, prohibition of double protection and inadmissible extension can be claimed by any applicant. Usurpation of the invention can only be claimed by the aggrieved party.

A request for cancellation is often the response to an infringement suit arising from

a utility model aiming to eliminate the legal basis of the infringement suit.

The German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) is responsible for the first instance of cancellation proceedings. Appeal proceedings against the decision of the first instance of the GPTO take place before the German Federal Patent Court.

The average duration of the proceedings for each instance is two to three years. The cost risk of utility model cancellation proceedings is generally significantly lower than that of patent nullity proceedings.