Types of protection

National Patent: A patent can be granted for a process, device, or product provided it is new, or for a new advancement to a process, device, or product. The term is 20 years from the filing date of the application.1

Utility Model: The Utility Model protects the less inventive nature of an invention. It protects its "utility" and "practicality" and not its "aesthetics". The duration of the utility model is 10 years from the date of filing of the application.2

Industrial Design: An industrial design grants its holder an exclusive right based on the visual or ornamental aspects of the product. The design may be two or three-dimensional. The duration of protection is 5 years from the date of filing of the application, and may be renewed for one or more successive periods of 5 years, to a maximum of 20 years from the date of filing.3

Community Design: A community design protects the outward appearance of a product derived from its lines, contours, colors, shape, texture, materials and/or ornamentation. It has unitary character and gives exclusive rights in all European Union member countries. It is protected initially for five years, renewable for periods of five years to a maximum term of 25 years from the date the application was filed.4

Convention and treaty membership

Spain became a member of the Patent Cooperation Treaty in 1989, and is also a signatory of numerous treaties and conventions including, but not limited to the following:

  • Paris Convention
  • Budapest Treaty
  • World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
  • Patent Law Treaty2